Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CTC at the Renaissance Festival

CTC performs commedia dell'arte at Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  1971.
Come late summer/early autumn in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a cherished event to hundreds of thousands.  Since the Festival's first year in 1971 in a field in Jonathan, and for about a decade thereafter, The Children's Theatre Company and School had a presence at the Festival, performing commedia dell'arte plays on the portable stage designed and decorated by Jack Barkla while also maintaining a "booth" -- whether it be the Flemish "Meat Hat Hut" or the fully-operational Italian bakery "La Casa degli Allegri Panini" which still stands at the Festival grounds in Shakopee.  Although the CTC resources were always challenged by the building, maintenance, and staffing of this project (particularly at a time when the Theatre and School were embarking on a new performance season and school year), CTC's involvement in the "Ren Fair" was deemed important for its public relations/publicity goals and proved to be a splendid partnership with an organization of sympathetic aesthetic and audience demographics.

Kathleen Sullivan, Gerald Drake

Video clip: CTC's Flemish-inspired thatch-roofed hut (1973) at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and excerpts from commedia dell'arte.  Silent movie courtesy of Gerald Drake.

Minneapolis Tribune Picture Magazine October, 1976:

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