Image via flickr / Ian Muttoo
A series of mini-dramas based on public conversations, as overheard and rewritten by local playwright/director Aurora Stewart de Peña.
Overheard at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s First Thursday Party featuring a live video chat with Ai WeiWei
Takeisha is in her early 30s. She’s wearing a floaty neon dress. She stands by herself watching a man get his head shaved by another man on a platform. It’s a performance piece to show solidarity with an imprisoned artist whose head was shaved after he’d had it beaten during arrest.
10 metres away, Mikhail and Mark, mid 20’s, both wearing suits, stand watching Takeisha.
Mikhail: You see, a woman like that, she doesn’t just want you to go over to her.
Takeisha takes a picture of the performance with her iPhone, tilts her head, takes another.
Mikhail: She doesn’t want you to ask her questions about herself, ask her about her job, or her dress, or her shoes. Stupid, inane questions. She doesn’t want that.
Takeisha puts her iPhone in her purse. She stands and watches, hands clasped. The man onstage closes his eyes to prevent his shorn hair from falling in them.
Mikhail: No, you don’t ask questions of a woman like that.
Mikhail: No, that’s not what she wants. You can see by the way she’s looking–inquisitive, questioning.
Takeisha tilts her head.
Mark: Like, because she’s tilting her head kind of?
Takeisha tilts her head the other way.
Mark: I think her neck’s just tired.
Mikhail: She doesn’t want you to go over there and start making conversation. She wants you to tell her something.
Mark: Tell her something? About what?
Mikhail: About art, about life.
Mark: Mikhail, if we knew about love, we wouldn’t be standing 10 feet away from a beautiful woman not talking to her.
Takeisha takes one last look at the performance, then walks toward the Henry Moore sculptures.
Mark: I’m gonna go find some of those little boxes of noodles.
Mikhail: What about a quote? You could tell her a quote.
Mark: That’s ridiculous.