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The dream of turning a stage musical about Humboldt County cannabis culture into a film has come to fruition. 

The saga of Mary Jane started at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake. It’s a musical all about celebrating the green goddess while acknowledging the pros and cons cannabis has on Humboldt’s society. 

“There are so many sides to this story. So many kinds of people involved. So many circles and areas of life that the pot industry touches,” said Mary Jane actor David Powell. “Whether it’s for good or bad, it affects everybody here. There’s nobody immune to that.” 

Dell’Arte produced three versions of show. Then with the expertise of famous director and filmmaker John Howarth, the musical went next-level, from stage to screen as Mary Jane: A Musical Potumentary. 

The film premiered at the Eureka Theatre in June, played at Dell’Arte’s Carlo Theatre in September and is set to show again at Hemp Fest in Redway and the Minor Theatre in Arcata. It’s currently entered in film festivals across the world and won best musical at the Oregon Independent Film Festival. 

Many of Mary Jane’s actors were part of the smash hit since its inception in 2011.

In Part I of this LoCO video report, they share what it was like to experience and contribute to the show’s evolution. In Part II we talk to the queen of sativa herself Mary Jane — aka Joan Schirle — and Michael Fields, Dell’Arte’s mastermind behind the musical.