Teatro Diablolico - deMeng de los Muertos 2017

Oaxaca: October 25 - November 3  

A Note From the Organizer, Colleen Darling

Join Michael deMeng for a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. Dia de los Muertos is one of the most beautiful celebrations in all of Mexico, and Oaxaca is one of the best places to experience it firsthand. Oaxaca is a delightful, welcoming, historical, and culturally rich city in southern Mexico. The city is home to some of the finest folk artists in the world and abounds with ceramics, textiles, tin, woodcarvings, jewelry, and more. There is also a prolific contemporary art and photography community based here. The restaurants, luscious food, and friendly people make Oaxaca an amazing place to visit.

Throughout our 9-day stay, people around the city will be getting ready for Dia de los Muertos with every home and business setting up ofrendas and preparing for the feast. The city is buzzing with excitement that spills onto the streets. The photo opportunities are endless. Each time you head out the door for the Zocalo or just a walk around the neighborhood something new will catch your attention. Flowers on the street corners, students competing in school ofrenda competitions, comparsas (parades) winding through the streets with traditional dancers, village bands and so much more!

We hope you can join us this year! 


To Enroll Contact: Colleen Darling 805-448-1509



The Workshop: Teatro Diabolico

Have you ever heard of a film called Autopsia de un Fantasma (Autopsy of a Ghost)?  Most likely not.  It’s a pretty horrible Mexican horror/comedy from 1968 featuring John Carradine and Basil Rathbone, about the devil offering redemption to a ghost through love.   I mention this film only because while the movie itself is horrendous, its opening credits are spectacular.  The credits are best described as a Faustian puppet show filled with skeletons, devils, ghosts and freaks dancing to a 60’s surf guitar riff; a playfully hellish scene and a perfect inspiration for a Dia de los Muertos workshop in Oaxaca.  Here’s a link so you watch for yourself here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XePJsR69v_8

In 2017 deMeng de los Muertos returns to the glorious Day of the Dead-ish city of Oaxaca and this years project will be to construct portable puppet theaters.  Using bobbles, bits and found objects, attendees will create small diabolical characters ready to perform. The stage will be created from a case or box of some kind.  This could be a briefcase, a silverware box, backgammon set…any small carrying case.  Of course, to be a proper theatrical production we have to set the mood, this will be done by painting changeable canvas backdrops for our found-object actors.   And, when the performance is over and after the diabolical creations take a bow, the stage will double as a carrying case for all the characters, sets, and props…a portable theater for the Good, the Bad and the Puppety.  


October 25th (Wednesday) - Arrival day in Oaxaca. It takes all day for the various flights to arrive so we don’t have any big plans. Just get there and start enjoying the city after a long journey. Take a walk to the Zocalo (main square) for dinner and sight seeing in the evening.

October 26th (Thursday) - Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Break for lunch at 1:00. Return to the workshop Welcome dinner 7:30

October 27th (Friday) - Breakfast. Tour day departing at 9:00 A.M. We will visit the Market town of Ocotlan, stopping along the way at the home of wood carvers, ceramic artists and belt weavers. In Ocotlan we will visit the museum and church of Santo Domingo. The museum houses many of Rodolfo Morales works and the ceramics of the Aguilar family. Lunch in the countryside and evening free.

October 28th (Saturday) – Breakfast. Class begins at 10;00 A.M. Lunch. Class resumes. Evening free. Optional visit to the Tamayo museum. The museum houses Tamayo’s collection of pre-Columbian art. Gallery walk for anyone interested

October 29th (Sunday) - Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Lunch on the Zocalo with the afternoon and evening free. Optional visit to the Oaxacan painter’s museum and the State museum at the Santo Domingo church.

October 30th (Monday) - Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Lunch. Class resumes. Evening free. Optional visit to the Contemporary Arts Museum.

October 31st (Tuesday)- Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Lunch, Class resumes. Evening free.

November 1st (Wednesday) – Breakfast. Optional trips to arqueological sites of Monte Alban, Mitla or Atzompa. Afternoon is free. We will visit the San Miguel cemetery in the evening

November 2nd (Thursday) - Breakfast. Afternoon free. We will visit San Felipe in the evening, a gorgeous small cemetery with a farewell dinner to follow.

November 3rd (Friday) – Breakfast. Fly away home

  • Itinerary is subject to change
  • Airfare is not included. When searching for airfares the Oaxaca code is OAX.
  • Included: Workshop, hotel, 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners, and tours with an English speaking guide.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included


Shared Double $2095

Single $2495

Deposit:  $250 to secure your spot. Please pay by check or money order to Colleen Darling

Balance due September 10, 2017

Cancellation Policy:  

  • Full refund minus $50 administration fee, prior to August 15, 2017
  • $250 deposit will be forfeited for cancellation after August 15, 2017
  • No refunds (unless we are able to fill your space) after October 1, 2017

Mail completed forms including signed waiver and check to:

  • Colleen Darling
  • 950 Ballard Canyon Rd.
  • Solvang CA 93463
  • 805-688-1221
  • colleen950@gmail.com


Hotel Information (Oaxaca)

  • www.holidayinn.com/Oaxaca
  • Holiday Inn Centro Historico
  • Diaz Quintas No. 115
  • Centro Oaxaca


To Enroll Contact Colleen Darling