FRANCIS, the joy of awakening

Francis, the joy of awakening, the play directed by Giacomo Campiotti and performed by the Ananda Assisi Community Company, continues its tour; last weekend it was presented in Rome with great success.

But, how did it come about? What are the intents and purposes behind it? How is the show experienced by those who take part in it?

The idea behind the creation, the theater company and of the show later on, was to create a more solid and harmonious relationship among the various members of the Terre di Luce team. The stage is capable of carrying out this magic: rehearsals, the exchange of ideas, problems and solutions, unite in a harmonious embrace those who participate. What makes this show even more special, however, is the structure itself.

It is constructed as a set of scenes in which what is important is not the linear order of the narrative, but rather the emotion that a particular moment in the life of St. Francis is able to arouse. The show follows a very precise narrative path and its purpose is to lead the viewer toward a single great theme that underlies the entire life of the great Saint: renunciation.

A great challenge for our actors was to play different roles in the same performance: the leper, the angel, the widow, the brothers, the townspeople, the merchants, a spectrum of the many personalities that dotted Francis’ life all played by the same few actors. This situation required great flexibility and willingness; it meant being open to the various roles required and, at the stage level, the sensitivity of occupying the stage space differently according to the role played.

Changing gestures, glances, vocal tones, means being present, finding one’s own time and rhythm but remaining, at the same time, within the performance by tuning one’s own rhythm to the rhythm of others, like the different instruments of a well-tuned orchestra. A subtle magic that allows one to convey to the audience the inspiration and grace of a life devoted entirely to God, bringing to light the various aspects of a complete dedication and devotion, consecrated to perceiving, loving and serving the divine.

For those who live it and represent it but also for those who watch it, Francis, the joy of awakening is an experience that is not only beautiful but deeply inspiring, because it is more than just a performance. It is interpenetrating the life of the great saint, it is feeling him close, so close that one is able to perceive the reasons behind his choices.

A final reflection concerns Giacomo Campiotti, the director. His way of guiding actors, technicians and the whole team is truly something special. He follows his vision, offering wise guidance capable of leading everyone, through their own personality and talents, to the final result. This was a work done with much humility and great clarity, able to bring out of each situation exactly what it had to.