More opportunities [to be] given to Filipinx artists and more Filipinx producers creating wider platforms. Our immigrant parents and their parents traveled from far away to seek this "American Dream" that in today's political climate & colonial history, needs to change. The makeup of theater crews, actors, and production staff should mirror more of the BIPOC community.
Jonald Jude Reyes
Jonald is a Chicago-based Stage Director primarily focused on Sketch Comedy and Improvisation. He is born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised in Belleville, New Jersey. At the moment, he is a Director for one of the national touring companies of The Second City, a teacher at The Second City (Chicago, IL), and The Annoyance Theatre (Chicago, IL). He is the Associate Artistic Director at The Revival (Chicago, IL), and alum of Directors Lab at Lincoln Center Theatre (2017) and DirectorsLabChicago (2016). He is also an Associate Member of SDC.
When asked about his favorite work in he said “[My] favorite is actually when I started improvising and played a lot of improv sets in various bars around Chicago. It was a fun time to just experiment, try new things, and really get a lot of practice on improvising. Those reps really allowed me to hone my craft as an improviser and let me find my stage voice. It also helped me build more confidence and even explore vulnerability - two essential characteristics of performing.”
In 2016, Jonald directed 'Blackfish The Musical', which is based on the 2013 documentary film. He considers this as his most impactful work thus far. He adds “The ensemble & crew were able to sell out an 8-week run in Chicago, IL, with the percentage of the ticket sales being donated to a marine wildlife conservation charity. The musical was able to gain recognition from PETA and even had a former SeaWorld trainer, Jeffrey Ventre, come to closing night and speak more on the issue.”
Jonald has worked with other Filipinx and Asian artists throughout his practice, he shares that while working with other Filipinx theatre artists created a strong impact in wanting to share our stories and contributions in the United States American History. “... From the Delano Grape Strikes to medical support being exported from the Philippines - we have such a unique narrative that can be immersed within the plays, performances, and entertainment platforms that Filipinx artists are part of.”
In creating a more inclusive industry for Filipinx, Jonald emphasizes providing more opportunities and for producers to have a wider platform. “More opportunities [to be] given to Filipinx artists and more Filipinx producers creating wider platforms. Our immigrant parents and their parents traveled from far away to seek this "American Dream" that in today's political climate & colonial history, needs to change. The makeup of theater crews, actors, and production staff should mirror more of the BIPOC community.”
If you’re interested to know more about what Jonald is working on, he is currently the founding member of the up & coming Stepping Stone Theater
Stepping Stone Theater is a non-profit organization created to celebrate and amplify the creative voices of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, persons of disabilities, womxn, and non-POC allies by providing affordable and accessible resources with a focus on community outreach and theatrical performance. To learn more about them, visit their website: https://www.steppingstonechicago.com).
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