In an ideal world, “free energy” could mean freedom to live anywhere we want, enjoy a creative life and roam over the land and seas of our planet. Our world society is far from ideal, but some people still create their own way to live as free spirits on Earth no matter what sacrifices that requires them to make. While mailing the book Breakthrough Power to them, I’ve been thinking about a couple whom my daughter’s family and I stayed with for a few days on our recent car trip through Italy and France.
Both my daughter and I had worked as publicist with them years ago. At that time Paul Kirby and Adriana “Nans” Kelder were still in Canada with a theatre company they co-founded with other artists. The troupe rehearsed on a farm near Armstrong, British Columbia, then traveled from town to town in brightly painted gypsy wagons pulled by Clydesdale horses.
Some time after we worked with them, Paul and Nans left the farm and traveled more than 20,000 horse-drawn miles around North America. Now they’re based in Europe and their Caravan Stage Company of actors, musicians, dancers and acrobats performs on their 30-metre tall wooden ship Amara Zee.
It’s the replica of a sailing barge you’d imagine gliding down the Thames River centuries ago, or you could envision it as perhaps a pirate’s ship of long ago. This year their audiences will be sitting dockside at a number of seaside towns along Italy’s eastern coast. Shows are staged on the ship’s deck, masts and rigging, and on the water and land around it.
For several memorable nights we enjoyed the hospitality of Paul and Nans, and their crew, on board their ship in the Marina dei Cesari where they wintered on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. They hadn’t yet started rehearsals for this season, so there were bunk beds available for us. Paul and Nans had designed the flowing curves of walls and arches inside the ship and had raised funds to have it custom built.
Their lives are not always easy sailing, however. As with so many free spirits in theatre and other arts (and as with the many inventors/researchers of new energy inventions), they often don’t know where money will come from for the next week’s bare-bones expenses. But I get the feeling that they wouldn’t trade places with anyone’s “normal” life, no matter how affluent. They would miss the adventures and the magic of their unique lifestyle and productions.
Their website says “Believing that theatre can and should restore to people of a sense of their own worth and power, the Caravan strives to create a theatre of hope and celebration” (www.caravanstage.org).
The company also models living sustainably, cooperatively, in harmony among diversity. Over the years hundreds of talented people have practiced theatre craft with the Caravan Stage Company while experiencing a demanding living environment. I remember actors from across the continent feeding and grooming Clydesdale horses and dealing with other farm or travel chores. Now the floating venue requires a different set of daily responsibilities, but by working and living in sometimes rough circumstances with creative people from many countries, the professional cast and crew demonstrate self-reliance, confidence and motivation.
One last quote from their website: “The Caravan Stage Company’s goal is to infuse your community with the mystery and surprise of a traveling troupe performing theatre, which for a moment in time, breaks the boundaries of the institutionalized conditions of everyday life, transporting you to a dream time.”
Just being around them inspires a person to break the boundaries…