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Cultivating Isn't For The Faint Hearted

Cultivating Isn't For The Faint Hearted

Gardens are beautiful things. Flower gardens for obvious reasons, and vegetable gardens because there is a lot of promise in them. Promise of a full stomach. Promise of healthy eating. When I walk through a garden or a well curated field of grains or corn I often forget about the sweat and even blood that probably went into the cultivation of that particular harvest. Cultivating, Nurturing, these words bring a certain gentleness to my mind. I think of ladies in sun hats dropping seeds from colorful envelops into mounds of rich dark soil, or of farmers walking through their rows of corn, relaxed with a long piece of grass between their teeth. I think of mothers nursing....but these images are only a part of the reality of what it is to grow, cultivate and nurture. 

So often it's a trial, a struggle to bring about healthy flowers or a bountiful harvest. So many factors have to line up. You have to have the right soil. You have to have enough rain or the appropriate irrigation systems. The weather has to be on your side. You have to make sure that you can keep the bugs and the birds out of it, and the seed, THE SEEDS, they have to germinate. When you are cultivating you have to dig deep, work hard, sweat a lot, and have faith that all of your hard work will pay off while you struggle against or try to get along with the elements, the unanticipated that you have very little control over. Gardening/ isn't for the faint hearted and neither is the world of theatre, of art. 

When I envisioned a year of cultivating and nurturing for Navi I had in mind this gentle year, but we are trying to cultivate something fulfilling and substantial and of course it isn't going to be easy. I just have to have faith in the harvest. I have to imagine what all of this digging in the soil will eventually lead to. I have to hold onto the promise of what we (Navi) are cultivating.




Auditions POV

Auditions POV

Navi Collaborative believes that auditioning is an integral process in a healthy theatre scene. With this belief firmly in place we hold auditions for each and every project that we have. Most recently we held auditions for our upcoming production of Precious Little. Core member, Courtney Eggleton, took some time to sit down and pen out some of her thoughts on the experience from behind the casting table.

"This was the second time I’d sat on the other side of the audition table and it’s amazing to me how much I was fighting for each and every auditionee. Usually when I’m the one auditioning I am so scared, “what if I mess it all up?”, “what if I’m not good enough?”, “what if I forget my lines?”, “what if they just don’t like me” etc.… I was beyond impressed with each woman that came through our audition room door. Each was prepared, confident and talented. Casting our show was certainly not an easy task and I only wished we were casting a show for ten women not three.

We opened our auditions to the masses and were inundated with responses, specifically for our character in her 40s. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of talent coming through and the passion they all shared for language. Come audition day we had a few pull out but the remaining women were astonishing.  It can be such a frightening experience stepping in front of a panel and these women did not disappoint us. They brought their expertise, strong choices and enthusiasm with them.

I found myself fighting for all of the auditionees. There was something so special about all of them that the overall casting decision seemed impossible. Through much discussion between the team we decided that we would cancel our callback auditions as we were confident that we could cast the show from this initial round. We had tossed up the idea that we would pit possible A’s against possible B’s. What we discovered through this process was that we had clear winners in our heads and felt as if we’d be wasting people’s time if it felt this clear here and now. So we slept on it. We woke up and we were still feeling the same.

From finding the play in 2016, pitching it to Navi in 2017, and auditioning in 2018, I have found such joy in women supporting and empowering other women.

·     Madeleine George, the playwright, is a talented and acclaimed American writer. I am thrilled to be bringing her work to New Zealand shores.

·      The Navi team currently consists of four core wonderful women and I am so thankful for their guidance and encouragement

·      Our director, Patricia Wichman, is a wonderfully talented and warm-hearted individual that slots so beautifully into our team. I am thrilled to be working with her and

With this team of warrior women behind it, Precious Little, will be a force to be seen, you definitely won’t want to miss out!

ALSO, we’re happy to announce that Catherine Maunsell has been cast in the role of A (Ape, Dorothy, Cleva and Baby) and Jessi Williams in the role of B (Sarah Brodie)."

-Courtney Eggleton




Welcome to Navi's 2018!

We named 2017 for change and boy did we see it! There were changes in the Navi core, changes in our audience reach, and changes in the world around us. We found ourselves changing personally and socially and while much of that change was rewarding, none of it came easy. Navi left 2017 excited but exhausted from a year of eruptions, and now here we are.

In 2018 we are looking to cultivate and nurture our passions, ourselves, our communities, and the culture that we want to create. We are putting on our metaphorical gardening gloves and getting into the soil that a year of eruption and change produced to make sure that in 2018 we grow the things that we want to see in ourselves and in the world. We are so excited about the work that we are producing and developing this year and about the plans that we have made to cultivate more collaboration. 

We hope we will see you at auditions, at our workshops, at our shows, and at other events in the theatre community. Come get amongst Navi and #CultivateYourPassion. 


Make 'Em Think

Make 'Em Think

As the lights faded to black they just sat there, still - it was a really special moment, because until that moment I didn't know that THAT was what I was trying to achieve.

The final night of Balls at my hometown theater was nothing less than an emotional roller coaster. The energy of the final night, the feeling of relief that we had pulled it off, the sadness that it was finishing... The Lads (and the lady) really did the show credit and brought it to life and I was so proud of all of us. 

But the best moment for me actually came after the final scene. Three of the people who sat next to me (two of which I knew) just sat there, they didn't move; even after everyone had exited into the foyer, they were still in their seats. I dared not move (as I was sitting pretty much in the middle), but then finally one of them spoke, it was actually the person I didn't know and it was question after question, How did you come up with that? How long did it take you to write? Each answer usually prompting another question. 

Now look, I don't want to sound pretentious. I'm just a kiwi boy from South Auckland - but the fact that something I wrote made somebody sit there stunned, thinking over and over about what they had just seen was pretty cool; in fact it was awesome and until that moment I didn't even know that that was what I was trying to achieve. But of course, I wanted to create a story that not only entertains but also makes you think. I love engaging with stories myself, and It was such a privilege to give that experience to others. 

So now it's all over, what happens next? I know I would love to take the show on the road, tour it around Aotearoa because Balls is more than a South Auckland story,  it is a New Zealand story and  it is (for better and for worse) part of our entire country's culture. In a recent New Zealand Rugby investigation 36 cases of misconduct were sited in the past four years. These included: "incidents involving inappropriate sexual behaviour, violent behaviour towards team members or coaches, drug and alcohol offenses and homophobic slurs." These sitings show that "Balls" hit the nail on the head with it's interpretation of this part of who we are, and I'm sorry, but it's ugly! I love rugby, I've said that continually throughout that process - growing up me and my Dad really bonded over this beautiful game, and he taught me everything I know about it - but he also taught me to be kind, honest and real. 

-Joshua Baty

Link to the New Zealand Rugby Investigation:




With each of our projects Navi seeks out a way that we can give to our community through supporting local groups that make a difference in the lives of Kiwi's. We show our support through both donations and by raising awareness around various organizations and the important work that they do. 

Blue September estimates that 600 Kiwi men a year loose their lives to Prostate Cancer largely because they were unaware of what to watch out for and didn't receive their diagnosis until it was too late. This September we are using our production of Balls to raise funds (for Blue September) and awareness by having a BLUE DO! Come along to our show on the 9th of September and a percentage of your ticket purchase will go to life saving education about and around Prostate Cancer. We also encourage everyone who attends on the 9th to wear Blue. Each member of the audience wearing Blue will be eligible to go into a draw to win double passes to all Navi projects in 2018. There will also be special treats (and fingers crossed) a special guest speaker to lead a small Talk Back about Prostate Cancer after the show. 

We hope you will partner with us in saving lives. We hope to see you at our BLUE DO!