Talking Fish, Pirates and Singing Chickens

MIDDLE: Elvira, played by Ruxy Cantir (right), took the sense-o-meter from Aristotle DuCharme (Anson Smith), and things stopped making sense. / Photos by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

Talking fish, singing chickens, and adventures on the moon and under the sea were all part of the school day at Trinity Valley Elementary in Willow Creek on Thursday, Nov. 29.

Third year theatre master’s students from Dell’Arte International in Blue Lake performed a wild and imaginative showing of The Fish In My Head for the elementary school students, as part of their 32nd annual holiday show.

Mike Foster, the group’s lighting director, said, “The holiday show is pretty much the best time of the year. It’s amazing to see the kid’s faces just rapt because it’s so much fun.”

Trinity Valley students laughed at the slapstick antics of the performers, and oohed and aahed at the laser lights and semi-mechanical puppets used for the show.

Janessa Johnsrude, a Dell’Arte student from Saskatoon in Canada, did several costume changes during the show, playing Mona the Fish, a talking bird, the moon, and a dragon.

Jacob Trillo, an actor and student at Dell’Arte, said, “One of the aims of the whole holiday tour is to bring live theatre to rural communities who don’t have it.”

The tour is part of a masters program and an apprenticeship program in ensemble-based physical theatre, and is also participating in a canned goods food drive by Food for People in Eureka.

Ruxy Cantir, a Dell’Arte student from Moldova, said, “We’re currently looking at touring one of our pieces in Canada, and looking at whether or not we’ll stay as an ensemble after graduation.”

Tim Shoop, a Willow Creek parent with two sons in Trinity Valley Elementary, came to see the show with them.

“It was a lot more elaborate than anything I saw as a kid,” Shoop said. “The singing, the dancing, everything was pretty cool.”

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