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BWW Interview: Joy Yvonne Jones talks about writing, directing, and performing in A PROMISE OF NEW LIFE at Common Ground Theatre & MOXIE Theatres

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BWW Interview: Joy Yvonne Jones talks about writing, directing, and performing in A PROMISE OF NEW LIFE at Common Ground Theatre & MOXIE TheatresJoy Yvone Jones is an accomplished actress with credits from theatres throughout San Diego, and a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle award for Outstanding Performance in 2018. Now Jones finds herself adding writer and director to her long list of accomplishments with the play A PROMISE OF NEW LIFE, part of the live virtual theatre series of plays written, directed, and celebrating Black women presented by Common Ground Theatre and MOXIE Theatre.

A PROMISE OF NEW LIFE is about an interracial couple; Ayesha who is pregnant, and her husband Richard who is a white police officer. As they find their moment of joy is increasingly shaded with additional complexity as Covid 19, cultural differences, and facing what being Black in America includes, they look for common ground.

Jones has worked with MOXIE prior, including her award winning performance in VOYEURS DE VENUS was with them in 2018, and with Common Ground Theatres Guest Artistic Director Yolanda Marie Franklin in THE RUBY IN US a coLab Presentation by The Old Globe. So when they contacted her about this opportunity it was a perfect fit for her talents.

Before the recent unrest that has taken hold of this country, I have been very vocal about uplifting black voices, I've called it "the revolution" in my theatre bios. I have been writing for some time now, but haven't had many opportunities to produce my work. My passion is storytelling and that doesn't end when I leave the stage. I direct my creative energy toward writing when there are periods of time when I am not performing.

While Jones is taking the lead on several fronts for this piece, it is the collaboration and insight of her colleagues that she finds especially valuable.

It is always a special experience to perform my own words. I do find it incredibly difficult to balance so many hats at the same time. In A PROMISE OF NEW LIFE, I am taking on the roles of writer, director, and actor. I rely on the ensemble to be my outside eyes and ears, especially when all the roles collide and I am having difficulty organizing my thoughts. I cannot stress enough the importance of my Artistic Tribe that supports and challenges my work.

This piece is also personal because Jones is pregnant while also writing, directing, and performing in this piece and that has only furthered her passion to fight for a better future.

To be growing life in the midst of a global pandemic and racial unrest has been both terrifying and rewarding. I am grateful to have a partner in my husband that is both supportive and actively anti-racist. We have had these conversations early and often in our relationship. With the anticipation of bringing a new life into this world, they have been revisited and expanded. I feel a responsibility to be vigilant about my baby's quality of life. Taking care of my physical body so that he comes into the world with the best that I can give him. As well as fighting and speaking out against the injustices that will be heaped upon him for being born black. When anxiety and fear creep in to infect my mind, I look down at my bump and am reminded of the beautiful future growing inside me.

While cities across the nation grapple with similar conversations and ever changing realities, having this show right now feels like an opportunity for art to inspire people to more open discussions.

Having a show go live in the current setting is nerve-wracking but I feel that it is important to personalize current defining moments. I want the audience to question how they would respond if they faced similar situations. Have they done the work to educate themselves? Have they had those hard conversations with their loved ones?

This play is designed to provoke audiences to talk about the realities of systematic racism, unconscious bias', and the importance of having conversations about those topics with loved ones; especially in interracial relationships.

A PROMISE OF NEW LIFE is playing on Friday,July 24th at 7:30pm PST and Sunday, July 26th at 7:00pm PST. It is playing as part of a double feature with THE WEDDING PREP by A.D. Brown and directed by Yolanda Marie Franklin.

Performances on alternation nights this week are BREATHTAKING by Andréa Agosto and directed by Sandra Ruiz, and HAIR WAITING by Niccole Nero Gaines and directed by Yolanda Marie Franklinon Thursday, July 23rd and Saturday, July 25th at 7:30pm PST.

Performances are free but reservations are necessary to get the performance link. They have also partnered with local Black-owned restaurants to support business during this time. You can find information on how to reserve your spot for a performance and the list of restaurants by clicking here

You can get additional information Common Ground Theatre at http://commongroundtheatre.com/ and MOXIE Theatre at http://www.moxietheatre.com/

You can follow Joy Yvvonne Jones and her future artistic endeavors through her social media:

Instagram: @joyyvonnejones

Facebook: Joy Yvonne Jones

Twitter: @joyyvonnejones


Photo Credit: Melanie Morabito Photography


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