‘I am beyond thrilled to be the first woman to play the role of Engineer in this exhilarating reimagination of this most beloved musical which is so close to my heart,' the Filipino actress says.
Filipino actress Joanna Ampil is bound to make theater history as the first woman to portray the role of Engineer in the musical play “Miss Saigon.” Her casting is confirmed by her manager Noel Ferrer through a Facebook post. The new production is part of Sheffield Theatres' 2023 season offerings and will be showcased in the UK at the historic The Crucible Theatre.
This is not the first time Joanna became part of a “Miss Saigon” production. She previously starred as the play’s protagonist Kim in London’s West End, original Australian production, original UK and Ireland tour, and the 10th Anniversary performance. This time, she will be the French-Vietnamese owner of the nightclub Dreamland.
“I am beyond thrilled to be the first woman to play the role of Engineer in this exhilarating reimagination of this most beloved musical which is so close to my heart,” Joanna says. “To have played Kim in different productions, countless of times and to have had my first taste of recording with The Complete International Symphonic Recording of the show, it feels like a full circle moment to pave the way for this historical gender-bending casting.”
“My goal personally is to champion the Asian perspective and answer some of the racist and misogynistic overtones in this new staging,” the actress adds. “To execute the role as a woman of strength, sensitivity, grit, complete with flaws and a whole lot of heart. In addition to that, it will hopefully open doors to so many of my fellow actors regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religious beliefs to color-blind casting, break barriers, and represent.”
This reimagined staging of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s musical is set to run in July 2023. It will be directed by Sheffield Theatres' artistic director Robert Hastie and associate artistic director Anthony Lau.