Is everywoman really a word? If it isn’t, it must be allowed in the case of Sarah Jones. Sarah Jones, alone on a stage, brings with her the perceptions of women from everywhere and shares them at the UN, at Davos, at TED, and on Broadway. Sometimes she brings a couple of men with her.
With many voices, many personas, Sarah Jones creates theater and performance art about women’s issues. With no more than a scarf or a hat, she changes from one woman to another instantly.
For a quick look at some of her characters, check her site sarahjonesonline. The opening page gives you a chance to see and hear several of her characters, which she refers to as her friends.
At the United Nations, Sarah’s friends spoke about laws that discriminate against women in Women Can’t Wait. The performance was jointly organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Equality Now. Here is the 1st of 7 parts, in which Sarah portrays an Indian woman named Praveen. For more videos in this series and the words from other Jones personas who show up to talk about equality at the UN, check YouTube.
Sarah Jones is from a multiethnic, multiracial family. Some of those family members find their way into her characters. She attended the UN school as a child and met people from all over the world. Her background and education came together in a Tony Award winning combination that help her both see and be everywoman.
She brings a deep understanding of women’s issues and women’s history to her writing. She’s currently working on Sell/Buy/Date, which tackles issues of human trafficking and the sex trade. Her past work includes Bridge & Tunnel about laws discriminating against women and girls, and A Right to Care about inequality in health care.
In an interview on NPR’s TED Radio Hour titled “What’s The Line Between Stereotyping, Celebrating Culture?” she talked about her TED Talks. (She’s done two TED talks.) Jones said she uses her characters to try to promote truly honest conversation. When asked about stereotyping, she said she tries to portray people as honestly as possible without stripping away the humanity.
Her TED talk at the What Does the Future Hold saw her bring 11 characters with her to the stage to answer questions about the future.
One of Jones’ characters is a homeless woman named Ms. Lady. She spoke on the stage at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the first homeless woman ever to appear on that stage.
This is Women’s History Month. Sarah Jones is a woman worthy of mention particularly during this month of celebrating significant women and their contributions. Yes, Sarah Jones is gifted in terms of creating and performing with voices and accents. But when you talk about her to others, don’t forget to mention that she is a brilliant writer and activist. She uses her gift for voices and accents to create the humor, emotion and human connection that allow her to tell stories about matters of vital concern to women everywhere. Connecting to women’s stories is a first step in creating change. Sarah Jones is definitely a woman who makes a difference.
Images © http://sarahjonesonline.com