All voices matter. As diversity is challenged, now is the time to defy all odds in minority acceptance and equality in the arts industry.
The Actors Jam, directed and produced by Stephanie T Clarke, is a platform for all minority ethnic actors and writers to present their work. This show featured a collective of young artists who developed new theatrical work representing their community to expand diversity in theatre.
The night was about giving an opportunity for minority voices in the art community to be heard. It began with a showcase consisting of nine artists: Lekhani Chirwa, Jelissa Campbell, Rory Thompson Shaw, Chioma Nwalioba, Naomi Abe, Yazmin Belo, Prince Larweh, Heather Agyepong and Rachel Clarke. These actors and writers performed monologues, duologues and short plays. The opening a capella piece, “My Voice Matters Too” lingered hauntingly in the space as scene by scene the actors told their stories. These talented performers displayed poignant dramas and entertaining comedies. Campbell’s touching monologue left chills, and Agyepong and Clarke’s scene about their school days was a roller coaster of emotions as we all reminisced on our own young school days. These passionate artists have set a high standard for all the future Actors Jams.
After the showcase, the night moved on to a networking party filled with amazing Caribbean cuisine and more young talent—rappers, singers and spoken word artists. This friendly and generous community made the night special as artists took the time to speak to guests. This night did not stop at the Actors Jam, but kept the life of theatre going all night long.
This show is an attempt to tackle diversity in the theatre industry by providing a positive outlet for all minorities in a community to showcase themselves without judgement or rejection. Most importantly, the Actors Jam gives voices to those who often go unheard.
Review by Aly Chromy
Actors Jam: Winter Showcase
18 February 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
London SE11 5SW