The Park Ecovillage Findhorn (TPE Findhorn) enjoyed another co-creation from Laura Pasetti in early 2022 – this time on a very large scale. Laura is the initiator of EcoTheatre – theatre performed in outdoor ecologies; Processions – theatre performed by walking around; and 7 Directions Theatre – theatre from the East, South, West, North, Above, Below, Centre.

Laura is an intimate observer of the life of communities – especially here at TPE Findhorn where she lives (when not visiting her native Italy or studying at Schumacher College). TPE Findhorn suffered many unexpected (and unintended) consequences as a result of the pandemic. Perhaps the most publicly painful outcomes were the 2 fires (set by an arsonist) that destroyed our Main Sanctuary and Community Centre. It was like having the spiritual and relational hearts ripped out of the community.

Meanwhile in the rest of the world, not only covid continued to impact people’s lives, but the human tragedies of climate change (and the Russian/Ukraine war) grabbed headlines reminding everyone about the fragility of life – individual, family, neighbourhood, community, organization, village/town/city and nation.

For an ecovillage like TPE Findhorn who practises 3 core principles and lives by a set of values-based guidelines, all these challenges ate away at the beauty, truth and goodness that are the essence of our community. What to do to bring awareness, insight and synergetic response to these life conditions? How can we dispute the IPCC when it issues a Code Red warning that challenges humans everywhere to recalibrate their relationship to their deep inner voice, their work as love in action and co-create with – instead of against – the intelligences of nature?

Laura Pasetti walks to centre stage of these challenging life conditions and invites 12 players from TPE Findhorn to co-create with her a dramatic performance titled the Red Ball. Laura’s way of calling forth the deep heart-based performers of her Questers (not mere actors but those in deep inquiry) is to offer the theme of the play – and invite Questers to write their own monologues. As animateur, Laura then weaves these together so in rehearsal, these co-creators discover the story that holds them all individually, collectively and as a community. And they unexpectedly co-create long enough to suffer the afflictions of covid invading their ranks not once but twice causing cancelled performances – thus requiring multiple re-scheduling of the play.

As audience I am surprised and inspired with the depth of performances, the meaning of the original comedy – the Red Ball is the essence of community – and the horrors of the tragedy that ensues when the Red Ball disappears. We see acted on the stage the worst defilements of the VUCA world. Volatility means no one trusts anyone else. Uncertainty means nothing can be depended upon. Complexity means we can’t figure out how everything is connected to everything else. Ambiguity means we cannot guess how things will turn out.

When we witness the Questers shout at each other, trash the stage (aka their town) with plastic refuse, be invaded by Guilt and Memory – we are confronted with the deep values of Mutual Trust and Respect and what happens when they are lost.

The cast takes the audience (300 strong in the Universal Hall) to what seems to be an irreversible tragic ending – but then asks everyone to stand and process silently from the Hall in the dark, to the very site of community conflagration and loss – the empty green field that has transformed from the cinders of the Community Hall.

There we see the 13 Questers gather around a table – laid out like the last supper – unexpectedly lighted by sports-field type lights – but more importantly unexpectedly enlightened by the children of the community. For every adult Quester we observe a child/youth Quester emerge as the generation who can restore the community to the heart of itself – and by doing so they manifest the miracle of the return of the Red Ball.

Leaders from the real community step into the final scene and intertwingle the fictionalities of the imaginary scene – reminding everyone that we are all Questers who care for themselves, each other, our community and the planet.

With delight the barriers dissolve between Questers, Audience and Community, while the Animateur looks as though it is quite normal to translate the EcoImpossible into the EcoAmazing.

Thank you, Laura Pasetti, for sharing your passion for a new emergent theatre from the 7 Directions. You ignite the spark of imagination so powerfully, none of us can resist becoming infected by Love!!!!

This short blog series tells the story of how Laura Pasetti’s eco-theatre enlivened the dark days of the pandemic at The Park Ecovillage Findhorn. The series includes:

Extra Resources: 

1. See the video recording of the Red Ball Click Here. Password: F1b7!Pi9eQ

2. Watch/listen to Marilyn Hamilton’s interview with Laura Pasetti Click Here .

3. Read the Transcript of the full Laura Passetti Interview aug 24 2022. Click Here.