We are delighted to introduce you to Joan Iyiola, our new charity ambassador. Joan is a UK-based actress with a passion for storytelling, gender equality and the kind of theatre that shakes, stirs and empowers. She is the co-founder of The Monobox, an education platform for emerging actors and directors. Her recent theatre credits include the RSC, Young Vic, Complicite and the Gate Theatre. She will shortly be performing with Joseph Marcell in Omeros at the Globe Theatre in London.
When I was first approached by Theatre for a Change to become an ambassador, I was a little shocked and quite soon after that the cold sweats emerged with thoughts that ‘I’ll be found out’. Classic actress stuff.
I am a woman. But what does that mean, when not a single country in the world has achieved gender equality?
I believe gender equality is possible. I believe it is possible because of the work that Theatre for a Change is doing. True empowerment. Women understanding their gender rights, often for the first time. Girls given the opportunity to receive health and education TOGETHER.
Theatre is a powerful tool that can all too often be seen as synonymous with entertainment. I believe it to be a perfect vehicle to engineer social change – its format suggests an escape from reality but in fact it can be the very arena where the voiceless can speak and be heard. We often talk about the actors’ toolbox; we use the tool box when our current blueprint fails us. In my understanding of it, Theatre for a Change provides tools for the women they work with: tools to own.
Theatre for a Change’s work is about the participants. Social justice in its purest form. If we empower our girls and women now how will the world look in the future? It’s the now that needs our attention, and I am beyond honoured to join Theatre for a Change in that work.
“I am an Actress by trade. I am 28 years old. But most importantly I am a woman.”