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Jill Navarre, director,
playwright, screenwriter

 

 

I was born in New Orleans , Louisiana , and grew up in Brooklyn , New York. (The story of that unlikely journey is told in PORTRAIT OF ANNA , a screenplay which I am now writing.)
I started writing when I was 9 years old, and won a New York City-wide competition for best essay on the theme, WHY I LIKE TO READ . Graduating from essays, I wrote poetry (10 years' worth) and have had numerous poems published in the U.S. and Canada . While living in Toronto , a group of us started a coffee house called THE SOFT CELL , which presented some of Canada 's greatest poets for a solid evening of poetry and all the chocolate chip cookies you could eat.

Back in the U.S. , while working on my Master's degree in English, I took a playwriting class – for a lark – and got hooked on theatre. Well, I was always involved somehow. As a kid I loved to sing and in summer camp got a chance to do some great roles, like Ado Annie in OKLAHOMA ! Goodbye Master's degree, hello Broadway!

My first job in theatre was selling tickets for AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami , Florida .

Since then, some of the highlights of my career have been winning awards for directing - RIVERS OF BLOOD (First Prize, Source Theatre Festival, Washington, D.C.) and playwriting - THE CRADLE WILL FALL (First Prize, Washington, D.C. Arts Council Larry Neal Award).

I worked as Asst. Box Office Manager at the FOLGER THEATRE in D.C. for 3 years, and every night (well, almost every night) I would watch great actors performing Shakespeare. While working on a production of UNDER MILKWOOD , I met two other theatre artists who became my best friends and colleagues. We were crazy enough to think we could start a new theatre company in Washington which would present cross cultural, inter-racial, avant-garde theatre. And we did. So I became one of the founding members of the SANCTUARY THEATRE, managing the New Play series, and helping many young playwrights to present their work for the first time. I fell in love with directing, and have directed 22 plays in the U.S. and India .

 

The India connection started way back in 1987 when I made my first backpacking trip to “the East” and stumbled on a place called Auroville, an international community of people in Tamil Nadu, India , dedicated to human unity and peace. Sort of like a kibbutz, but with an Indian atmosphere. I knew something interesting and important was going on here, and although I returned to the U.S. , the place stayed with me, until I decided I had to check it out. Staying for one year in 1991 was enough to convince me that this was where I belonged, and I've lived here ever since. I've been Artistic Director of the AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP since 1992. In 2003, I was awarded a Government of India Development Scheme grant for directing MILAREPA .

In 2002, I returned with my partner, Edgar Weinberger, to the States to hunker down and write our screenplay, SANNYASI , adapted from Satprem's novel, SANNYASIN: or BY THE BODY OF THE EARTH The time was well spent. I even got a chance to work as acting coach on a short film in Portland, Oregon, called EXILE FROM THE SUN , written and directed by Michael Poitevin.

 

Now I do translations (French/English). Edgar and I have translated the play MILAREPA , by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, which the AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP performed here in January, 2004, under my direction. Our most recent production was THE RAINMAKER by N. Richard Nash (2006). I am currently writing a play, ANANDA , and a screenplay, PORTRAIT OF ANNA . Meanwhile, SANNYASI is ready to go.

 

 

 

 

PLAYWRIGHT :

 

ANANDA script in progress

THE CRADLE WILL FALL 1989, first prize, Washington D.C. Arts Council Larry Neal Award

MOMMY, I'M HOME produced 1986

Washington , D.C. Open Theatre Women's Festival

WOMEN IN HELL a collection of short plays

 

 

 

SCREENWRITER :

 

PORTRAIT OF ANNA script in progress.

THE DOOR short film in post-production.

SANNYASI Co-author with Edgar Weinberger (adapted from the novel BY THE BODY OF THE EARTH or THE SANNYASIN by Satprem).

 

 

 

DIRECTOR, the AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP:

 

2006 THE RAINMAKER by N. Richard Nash

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

2005 THE TEMPEST by Wm. Shakespeare

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

2004 THE WOOLGATHERER by Wm. Mastrosimone

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

2004 MILAREPA by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

2003 SACRIFICE by Rabindranath Tagore

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

2001 NISHTA: OR THE STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE OF MARGARET WOODROW WILSON by Seyril Schochen

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

1999 BAY AT NICE by David Hare

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

1998 ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD by Tom Stoppard

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

1996 LEGEND OF THE KALIVELI SIDDHA by Bhavana Dee

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

1995 THE GREEDY MAN by Parthasarathy

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

1994 BLACK COMEDY by Peter Shaffer

AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP, INDIA

 

1993 WAITING FOR GODOT by Samuel Beckett

AUROVILLE , INDIA

 

1990 MOMMMY, I'M HOME author

AUROVILLE, TAMIL NADU , INDIA

 

For more information about the visit AUROVILLE THEATRE GROUP page

 

 

PLAYS DIRECTED IN THE U.S. :

 

1990 RESIDENT ALIEN by Claire A. Nelson for the Montgomery County Council , Maryland , USA

1989 THE GREASY ENVELOPE by Henry Hubben for the Source Theatre, Washington , D.C. USA

1989 THE CRADLE WILL FALL by author (staged reading) for the Source Theatre,Washington , D.C. USA

1988 DECEIT (OR CRIME WITH CLASS) by Joe Martin for the Source Theatre, Washington , D.C. USA

1988 PSYCHOTIC BUSBOY BLUES by Stephen Belber for DC/AC, Washington , D.C. USA

1987 RIVERS OF BLOOD by Claire A. Nelson for the Source Theatre, Washington , D.C. USA

1986 EANY-MEANY by Mark Pizzato for the Source Theatre, Washington , D.C. USA

1986 MOMMY, I'M HOME by the author for the Open Theatre, Washington , D.C. USA

1985 BEHIND THE CURTAINS by Margaret Nash for the Sanctuary Theatre, Washington , D.C. USA

 

ADMINISTRATIVE :

 

Director, New Play Series Sanctuary Theatre , DC

Box Office Manager Sanctuary theatre, DC

Publicity Director Sanctuary Theatre , DC

Publicity Director Open Studio, DC

Subscription/Group Sales the Folger Theatre, DC

Admin. Asst. Playwrights Horizon, NY

House Manager Light Opera of Manhattan NY

Ticket Sales Players State Theatre , FL

 

 

 

PRODUCTION/TECHNICAL :

 

Asst. to the Costumier American Folk Theatre , NY

Asst. Stage Manager Soho Rep Theatre , NY

Rehearsal Asst. Players State Theatre , FL

Tech Crew Players State Theatre , FL

Stage Manager The Little Prince Co., FL

 

 

EDUCATION :

 

Acting Studio Theatre , Washington , DC

Herbert Berghof Studio , New York

 

Playwriting New Playwright's Theatre, DC

with Terry Twyman, Florida International University , Miami , Florida

 

Writers/Directors Workshop with Gene Frankel

Gene Frankel Theatre , NY

 

B.A., English/Education Queens College of C.U.N.Y.

 

 

 

Jill Navarre Prarthana Auroville 605101 Tamil Nadu India

Email: jillswar@auroville.org.in

Tele:091-413-2622-840

Cell: 94864 16173

 

 

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