Monique Wilson is key speaker at Opening.
Published: Jun 22 2015
Monique Wilson is one of the Philippine’s veteran theatre and film actresses – having acted professionally since the age of nine. At 18 she starred as the lead role in the original London West End production of Miss Saigon. â€¯In 1994, at 24 years old, she went back to the Philippines and founded the New Voice Company (NVC) theatre group, with a vision to awaken, inspire and transform Philippine audiences with socially provocative and innovative political theatre work. Her theatre group has produced The Vagina Monologues in the Philippines since 2000 and V-Day events since 2001, and helped change the laws on sex trafficking and domestic violence with performances in the Philippine Senate and Congress. The company has also produced The Vagina Monologues in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, and Eve Ensler’s THE GOOD BODY in the Philippines. As NVC’s Artistic Director, Monique has steered the company into one of Asia’s leading theatre companies, producing a diversity of shows – from the Asian premiere of “Angels in America” in 1995, to a devised theatrical piece on the plight of street children (in collaboration with the David Glass company, UK), to their acclaimed original production – “Revolutionary Hearts” about activism, revolution and nationhood. Their recent original production was “The Male Voice” – exploring roots of violence in Filipino men.
Monique has received numerous awards as an actress including the ALIW Award for Best actress for “Cabaret” the musical, and the URIAN best supporting actress for the film “Kapag Iginuhit Ang Hatol ng Puso”. She has also received numerous awards for her contributions to theatre including the TOWNS (The Outstanding Women of the Nation – Philippines) Award (for Theatre and Culture), the Outstanding Artist of Manila Award (for Theatre and the Arts), Parangal Ng Bayan (Honor of the Country) Award for Theatre, and the FAMAS Film Foundation Special Award. This year she was awarded the “Light of Culture” Lifetime Achievement Award by UNESCO and the International Theatre Institute.
Monique is a member of GABRIELA – a national alliance of grassroots women’s organizations in the Philippines, and is the Director of International Affairs of the Gabriela Women’s Party. She is also the international spokesperson for the Purple Rose Campaign (a campaign to end sex trafficking of Filipina women and children).â€¯She has spearheaded campaigns for the LILA PILIPINA comfort women group of the Philippines and performed an excerpt from “The Vagina Monologues” at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal for Comfort Women in 2000. She also spoke and performed at V-Day’s V to the Tenth celebrations in New Orleans. Monique also gives theatre empowerment workshops to migrant workers in London and Hong Kong, and to children of migrants in the Philippines. Last year Monique was one of the judges in the International Migrants Tribunal on the GFMD (Global Forum on Migration and Development) held in Manila, which found 35 countries guilty of exploiting grassroots migrants.â€¯ Monique coordinated One Billion Rising Philippines involving all the major grassroots organizations of women, migrants and workers.