introducing her. the girl. the earring.
**Ausette is playing "Parel" in our new play Trompe L'Oeil. Here she talks you through some character thoughts.**
World and character building:
It is a gift every time I step into a new role, in a new play, with no idea who the character is yet. I find myself lost in imagination and possibility as the puzzle of world and character building sits in front of me like a glistening lake, ready for me to jump in and feel the crisp, fresh, and sharp pang of trust falling into a story. How lucky I am to be here.
Paintings and people:
The feeling of walking through a museum is often connected to the stories you have heard about the art, the journey pieces have embarked on, and the artists' lives. But the reason for visiting a painting, and revering a painting, is deeply connected to the viewer's propensity to find meaning and story in it; to disagree with their companion, to say, ‘no, no, you can see the dot of paint there, the painter meant for you to focus on her eyes.” The more personal your interpretation of the painting can be, the more intimate it feels, like it has traveled through time just to have a conversation with your eyes, and your eyes alone. No one else can see what you see in the brush strokes.
Girl with a Pearl Earring shifts every time I look at her. My imagination knows exactly what she is thinking, but is also desperate to ask her, “why are you looking at me like that? What am I supposed to do? I need to meet you. I need to speak with you.” As many paintings throughout history, this young woman is unidentified. But I do not need to know her name. She represents the minds of so many women, and the endless thoughts and ideas that women have had, had someone only asked. Had someone only given a living woman, right in front of them, the curiosity and attention that Girl with a Pearl Earring receives. Because all who look at her are right. She is thinking too many things to choose just one. Vermeer, the painter, has captured a person with immeasurable depth. A woman. To give attention to her thoughts, simply because I cannot make them out without speaking to her, is one of the most powerful emotions a painting has ever evoked in me.
So, ask, I tell myself. So, ask, I beg of others. To know someone, to include someone, must mean to give them your curiosity and your time. How much imagination and beauty could we uncover in all women, if we looked at them with the same curiosity we afford this young Dutch girl. The key being: we assume we cannot know her until she speaks.
I cannot wait to share my interpretation of this mystery. To give space and time to a woman’s thoughts and experiences. To know her.
I could not be more excited to share Trompe L’oeil with audiences in January.