The Auroville Theatre Group has been performing in Auroville for about 20 years now. Many actors have come and gone: several have started their stage careers with the ATG. The theatre scene in Auroville being pretty fluid — actors work with more than one company, move around from show to show. One thing has remained constant: Jill Navarre, ATG artistic director. Ever since the first performance of ‘Waiting for Godot’, Jill has directed the ATG in its performances of the ‘Legend of the Kaliveli Siddha’, ‘The Greedy Man’, ‘Nishtha, or the Strange Disappearance of Margaret Woodrow Wilson’, ‘Sacrifice’, ‘Milarepa’ — to name a few.
The scripts are chosen for their beauty of language and depth of expression. We always ask the question, What does this story mean to us, here, now? So the plays that we choose should have some relevance to the Auroville experience, its multicultural, international aspect (actors and designers coming from different parts of the world) and should be connected in some way to what Auroville is all about – an expression of the search for human unity, its triumphs as well as its failures, man’s aspiration for progress, the evolution of consciousness, unity in diversity, our connection with the Divine.
What does it mean to work with the Auroville Theatre Group? What is the credo of the group? Here’s one idea . . . .
“Theatre is about transformation. It is about finding yourself and touching the deepest part of yourself in order to offer it up to the Divine, to the audience. You are there for them — you are enacting this miracle of transformation for them (some would say “we stand in their place”). And how do we open our hearts to allow this transformation to take place? We use the strongest power that we know — the power of love.
What is this love? It is the love which can change you, open you, widen you, clean you, make you strong. It gives you a voice, two arms, two legs, a strong, flexible, responsive, energized, dynamic body and most of all, a heart. It opens your heart, yes, until you think it will break.
During this work, every obstacle comes up, every resistance. No NO NO, it’s not possible. I can’t say that. I can’t do that. I can’t be that. But we can. We contain multitudes. What is not possible is to do it alone. For this act of transformation we need some help. Some help! We need each other, for support, for encouragement, for a kind word, for a hug.
It’s not a mysterious process. And yet, it contains the essential mysterious question of life — how can love transform? What is this power? Every day we come and start again. And every day there is some progress, understanding, some laughter and even some tears. Because you cannot change without pain, and frustration and denial and resistance. Then the love has to be there, even stronger than the strongest resistance. Because it leads to a discovery of one’s psychic being, to a feeling of connectedness, of light and great, great joy. And we are here for that. I don’t mean only we here in Auroville, but, finally, all of us are here — here on earth, to make it happen, to allow the spirit to work in the world and . . . we can do it. We must do it – together.”
e-mail: theaurovilletheatregroup [at] gmail.com
or contact Jill Navarre, Artistic Director at :+91 9486416173
jill.navarre [at] gmail.com