Dell’Arte annual touring show comes to Redway

Do you have a fish in your head? What does it look like? Where does it go? For the 32nd annual touring holiday show, Dell’Arte presents a one-of-a-kind theatrical storytelling spectacle celebrating the mysteries of the imagination. Combining circus skills, physical comedy, music and song, The Fish In My Head is a show for all ages about the untold stories that swim around in our dreams, the imaginative realms of transformation.

Performed by seven actor/musician/acrobats, this universe of fantastic characters and amazing images comes together in a theatrical event full of laughter and wonder, which, like the title itself, takes its inspiration from the glorious arrival of the unexpected.

An all-original piece devised by the ensemble, The Fish in My Head gives us the story of an unpleasant man with a machine that makes Sense; his orderly, self-important life is overturned by the sudden appearance of a zany woman and her friend, the Fish. The Fish In My Head escapes from a stuffy, mechanical world of order to a ship of fools, on a glorious adventure to the bottom of the ocean and finally to the moon and back.

The audience is asked to contribute non-perishable food items, which the cast collects and donates to local food banks. It is estimated that the DAI holiday show reaches approximately 7,000 to 10,000 people each year, including many school-age children.

In the cast are Janessa Johnsrude, Ryan Musil, Jacob Trillo, and Meridith Ann Baldwin (all seen in last summer’s Mary Jane: The Musical) as well as Ruxy Cantir, Anson Kalani Smith, and Anthony Arnista. Sound design and music by Tim Gray, lighting by Michael Foster, costumes by Lydia Foreman and set by Daniel Spencer.

On Dec. 4 the show comes to the Mateel Community Center in Redway at 6:30 p.m. The tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Current MCC members get in free. Kids are invited to come in their jammies and free cookies will be provided in the holiday spirit. The Mateel kitchen will offer snack foods and refreshments for purchase. For more information, call the Mateel office at 923-3368.

The show, directed and designed by Ronlin Foreman and performed by the Dell’Arte Company, will run from Nov. 23 through Dec. 16, touring throughout Northern California and Southern Oregon, with shows in Klamath, Orick, Point Arena, Redway, Scotia, Cave Junction, Hoopa, Bridgeville, Burnt Ranch, McKinleyville, Trinidad, Eureka, and Arcata. A goal of the Dell’Arte holiday show is to make this family entertainment available to both rural and urban communities that rarely see live professional theatre. Venues range from large professional theatres to local elementary school cafeterias.

Tickets are available for the show at other venues in the county by calling Dell’Arte at (707) 668-5663, ext. 20, or online at

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Small fish tea party