Women of The Revolutionists: Jasmine Porter as Charlotte Corday

In celebration of International Women’s History Month, Park Square Theatre and PRIME Productions present our next installment in the Women Wednesday Interview Series! This week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jasmine Porter, who plays the young, headstrong assassin Charlotte Corday in The Revolutionists

If you were to ask a teenage Jasmine if she wanted to be an actress when she grew up, she would probably say she’d like to make it through the first day of her high school acting class, her initial introduction to performing. However, despite her early trepidation, she went on to join a social justice theatre troupe at Gustavus Adolphus College and discovered her “infinite curiosity” about people and their communities, as well as the vital importance and complexity of human connection that she wanted to keep as a “throughline in whatever (she) did as an adult.” 

After graduating, Jasmine built upon her unique experiences devising original works with her troupe in college to auditioning and performing professionally. 

This play is about real historical figures. Tell me about your character, Charlotte Corday. Who is she, and how did you prepare for your role?

She’s very fierce and very strong-willed, with an even stronger conviction. She is the youngest character in The Revolutionists at 24; and she was so upset seeing this violence and harm done to her people. She grew up in the countryside, from a noble family that didn’t have money. She’s a young woman who’s gone through a ton of trauma –haven’t we all– who truly feels compelled by her empathy and her love of her people and a desire to end the suffering she was seeing in France. 

I’ve had a lot of fun exploring that aspect of her personality and what it means to be young and impulsive and driven by your convictions and so sure that everything you do is good. When I was in college, I knew all the answers and now at 32, I know none of the answers. It’s so funny, I used to say, “Well, why don’t you just do this?” And my grandma, who raised me, used to say, “It must be nice to know everything!” It’s a fascinating conversation to look back on and really let that part of myself come out and shine in this role. 

I’ve also enjoyed exploring the dark side of that, the absence of conviction and assuredness–what does it mean to be driven by feeling unsure and unsettled? I think that duality is kind of what drives Charlotte. She’s such a fun person to play and I’m very grateful and excited for the opportunity to tell this story. 

What is the most rewarding part of acting in The Revolutionists? Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

For one, this cast, creative and production crew is phenomenal. I feel really grateful and excited to work alongside so many really wonderfully talented women. There’s a quote that goes: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I’m so excited to be surrounded by people that can influence  growth and development as a person and as a creative artist.

I tried to pick a moment that wasn’t a spoiler but there’s one where Marianne Angelle says that she needs a dramaturg and Olympe de Gouges says, “Don’t we all?” I love that because every time I hear it I think, wouldn’t it be so nice to have someone quietly explaining everything to you? What everything means, why it’s important and what you should do? 

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

First, I hope the audience can have some laughter and brevity brought to their lives. I hope that even in the darkest of times when it feels like you’re battling these really intense social and political systems, that you can find lightness. Without that lightness you’re not going to make it very far. It’s going to weigh too heavily on you so you have to find the light with the dark and find the laughter with the seriousness. 

The second thing I think is really important about this play is that all of these women, in some capacity, don’t really like each other at the start. What does it mean to find connection in humanity even though our means of achieving a goal might be different? They’re all seeking freedom and equality but they’re all doing it in their own way. There’s something very poignant about what it means to accept somebody and love somebody through spaces of disconnection and points of tension. Despite it all, you might not see eye to eye but you still have a sense of connection. That’s what’s important when it comes to friendship and love and moving a cause along versus splitting hairs. 

Interview & Article by Morgan Gray

Reserve your tickets to The Revolutionists today!



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