Stage veteran Joanna Ampil, who starred as Kim across international productions of “Miss Saigon,” is returning to the musical in a landmark portrayal which will see her as the Engineer — the first woman to play the role.
Ampil as the Engineer will debut in a new “Miss Saigon” production at the historic The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, UK in 2023.
“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,” Ampil said in a statement on Thursday.
Ampil played the lead role of Kim at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London’s West End, the original Australian production, the original UK and Ireland tour, and then at the 10th anniversary performance of the musical.
The acclaimed actress referred to her upcoming part as the Engineer as a “full circle moment,” in light of the historic change in the play’s 33-year run.
“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,” she said.
With her performance as the Engineer, Ampil hopes to “champion the Asian perspective and answer some of the racist and misogynistic overtones in this new staging” and “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,” she said.