Elemental is a magical community spectacle performed annually on the banks of the majestic Mad River in Blue Lake, California. The event begins with free community workshops in paper lantern making and ends with a community pageant featuring stilt walkers, giant puppets, fire performers, and giant shadow play, paper lanterns and live music.
Artists involved in the 2011 come from a wide range of local visual and physical theater artists and musicians. Designing and building a lantern installation for the event were Lush Newton and Lydia Foreman and shadow puppet designers and puppeteers James Hildebrandt and Sean Powers added to the mix as well as local stilters Leslie Howabauten and Anson Smith.
The Arcata Playhouse and Four on the Floor Theatre have been producing this outdoor spectacle since 2000 in various locations both in Canada and in California. The genesis of the Elemental outdoors event began on a small island in British Columbia, Canada. It was conceived as a community welcoming of the New Year and it continues to be performed annually on the island. Our interest has always been to have an event that the community could be involved in creatively. Elemental offers an opportunity for everyone to get involved, from lanterns and stilt walkers to walking with a giant puppet. As a community event Elemental is reliant on a large of amount of community volunteers.
The 2011 event was sponsored in part by the California Arts Council and the Melvin F. and Grace McLean Foundation and is always free to the community.