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The Dell'Arte Company is transforming their smash musical about living in the Emerald Triangle into a "Musical Potumentary"!
The Dell'Arte Company is transforming their smash musical about living in the Emerald Triangle into a "Musical Potumentary"!
83 backers pledged $10,096 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$10,096

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WHO WE ARE:

Dell’Arte International is the work of an extraordinary community of artists located amidst the majestic redwoods and rugged beauty of California’s North Coast in Humboldt County. For 40 years, the combination of the original productions of the Dell’Arte Company, our actor training programs, our annual Mad River Festival, our education programs in local schools, and our work in economic/community development make us a place unlike any other on the American theatre map. 

WHY WE NEED YOU:

Dell’Arte is making a film. In partnership with 25 year BBC veteran and Emmy-nominated filmmaker John Howarth (www.john-howarth.com), we are transforming our highest-grossing live show, "Mary Jane: the Musical", into what we’re calling a “Musical Potumentary,” where the perspectives of local artists blend with footage of real-life issues facing Humboldt Country and it’s residents. Those real-life issues surround the growing of marijuana at its epicenter in our home of Northern California. The musical documentary will feature 15 original songs, composed and performed by professional actors and musicians who live in the real-life community of Humboldt County’s ‘Emerald Triangle’.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO DONATE DIRECTLY TO DELL'ARTE, PLEASE CONTACT US at info@dellarte.com, CALL 707-668-5663, OR VISIT 131 H Street, Blue Lake CA, 95525. 

Dell’Arte is also working with Joshua Meisel, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Humboldt State University and the Founding Director of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR), Dale Maharidge, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and Pulitzer Prize awardee, who will offer script consultation on generating an inclusive community narrative, and Kym Kemp, a local cannabis blogger. We’re also working with YOU our audience to help us raise enough funds to help cover our pre-production costs. 

 On stage, "Mary Jane" sought to examine all aspects of the local pot culture, from its regional economic importance to the grim particulars of violence and environmental degradation. A movie interpretation of the staged production aims to fuse live performance with documentary footage of the marijuana-growing world, illustrating the reality behind the fiction. 

 The legalization of marijuana in the United States, including new enterprise in Colorado and Washington and the wide-spread legal use of medical cannabis in California and beyond is raising questions about the future of the national pot industry. California’s marijuana market is the largest in the country and Humboldt County has garnered a global reputation as the nation’s cannabis hotbed – both in production and through its often-quirky cannabis culture. With potential corporatization and federal regulation around the corner, widespread environmental damage from irresponsible grow-operations, generational change-over, and the uncertain future of Humboldt County’s place in marijuana production, Dell'Arte's film stands to raise awareness, create discussion, and span a spectrum of local and national issues around marijuana – one of the hottest topics in American culture today and one of the most significant topics in Humboldt County. 

Here are just a few of the reviews that "Mary Jane: the Musical" garnered: http://nugmag.com/mary-jane-the-musical-illuminates-the-emerald-triangle-june-21-july-8-at-the-mad-river-festival/ and http://www.examiner.com/review/review-mary-jane-the-musical-at-mad-river-festival-blue-lake

and here is a brief message from Ravi, one of the most popular characters in the musical:

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YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL:

-help us hire a line producer to assist in the development of the overall production budget (don't worry folks, we are not imagining that $10K will make this movie!)

~ enable us to enter pre-production phases, including beginning to shoot crucial documentary footage in 2015.

~ create studio recordings of the music from the show in the spring of 2015, a necessary component of putting Mary Jane: the Musical on the big screen.

-prepare to shoot all principal footage in the summer of 2015.

Theater tends to be on the forefront of waves of social change, and our regional story is both timely and relevant. By understanding the history, motivation and impact of the Humboldt marijuana phenomenon, California and national audiences will be better informed and better prepared to consider marijuana’s significance on the national stage. This film seeks to examine how marijuana, our area’s largest cash crop, is ingrained into the fabric of our daily lives.

To learn more about the Dell'Arte Company's work, history, and training program, please visit: www.dellarte.com

Risks and challenges

The Dell'Arte Company has been creating original theater about local issues, people, and places for over 40 years, but translating a successful stage work to the screen, and shifting from a local to a national audience will be a challenge creatively, collaboratively, and logistically. Thanks to our history in the area and a strong partnership with local documentarians, filmmakers, and people involved in groundbreaking research into the impact of the marijuana industry on Humboldt County, we think that we can put together a great team with the intellectual resources to make this project one with true depth and scope. 
Also, going from a production budget in the theater to one in film is a leap, to put it mildly. We hope to continue to show results and a commitment to the project as we work to solicit funds from private individuals and public institutions. The success of this Kickstarter campaign will also go a long way in showing that we have a base of popular support as we seek matching funds (Thank you!!). 
Finally, the show won't be over once the footage is in the can. We face the risk of not finding adequate distribution once we have a product. Our focus post wrap-up will be several fold: soliciting distribution, applying to film festivals, and following up on direct distribution options, like iTunes and Netflix. Ultimately, we want to share our experience of living in the marijuana milieu with YOU.

THANK YOU FOR DONATING TODAY! No matter the amount, your contribution magnifies the power of the arts to explore relevant issues of our time and of our place.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The dimebag! A little bit goes a long way, you know this, and we thank you. We will send to you via e-mail or Facebook a picture of our greatest gratitude.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Changing the world a couple of tokes at a time! You will get a beautiful sticker (thtickerth!) featuring the awesome Mary Jane logo (as you see on this page) designed by Jerry Lee Wallace AND a picture of our greatest gratitude in the mail!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Everything is green. Your choice: a Mary Jane: the Musical tee, or an original cast recording from 2011. AND a sticker. THANK YOU!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Yeah ah, don't criticize it! We will arrange to take a portrait of you and the MJ character of your choosing, and you will get a beautiful large hard copy (framed if you like) as well as the digital file. How fun is that? OR a personalized video thank-you from your favourite character, if you prefer... AND YES, a sticker.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Spreading the seed: CAMEO! CAMEO! ALSO, a sticker.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    I just sold my first pound. Ok, first of all: a cameo in the film. Second of all: producer credits. Third of all: come talk to us so we can tailor a righteous expression of gratitude to you with the entire cast of Mary Jane characters: perhaps an all-cast Birthday song? Perhaps candlelight dinner? Let's talk! Of course, MASSIVE THANKS. (And a sticker!)

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Funding period

- (51 days)