Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This North Coast Weekend

Humboldt County and HSU are named after him, but almost nobody knows who he was. Yet the 100th anniversary of his birth was celebrated with public ceremonies from New York to San Francisco. Alexander von Humboldt—explorer, best-selling author, visionary of ecology and human rights—was one of the most famous and influential figures of the 19th century.

 Now during the 100th anniversary year of its birth, HSU is presenting Humboldt Unbound  for two weekends, starting Thursday November 7.

 After a calendar year of collaboration involving faculty and students in several disciplines, Dell’Arte’s Michael Fields worked with a student ensemble to create what he says is not a standard biography but a quick and highly theatrical blend of live action, music and dance that explores the spirit of Humboldt’s life.

 Fields is assisted by key Dell’Arte colleagues: scenic designer Giulio Cesare Perrone, lighting by Michael Foster, and songs and other music by Tim Gray. HSU’s Catherine Brown designed costumes. HSU student Mark Teeter plays Humboldt as the young explorer, and Geography professor Stephen Cunha plays him in his later years. Luke Tooker portrays Siefert, his last companion. The ensemble cast includes Giovanni Alva, Ina Loaiza, Samantha Herbert, Kate Haley, Charlie Heinberg, Johani Guerrero, Gaelen Poultan, Chris Joe and Rilo Wage. They play multiple roles, not all of them human.

 Humboldt Unbound is performed in the Van Duzer Theatre Thursdays through Saturdays, November 7-9 and 14-16 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 17. Tickets:  826-3928.  Lots more information on the play and on von Humboldt:  HSU Stage and Screen.

Continuing: Far East at Redwood Curtain, reviewed below.

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