|Born||Joan Richelle Almedilla
September 19, 1973
Cebu City, Philippines
|Occupation||International Filipino singer and theater actress|
|Parent(s)||Agapito and Rosario Almedilla|
|Awards||Champion, Best of Cebu Pop Music Festival (January 1993)
Most Perfect Voice Music Mate Star (1989)
Joan Almedilla (born Joan Richelle C. Almedilla on September 19, 1973) is an international film and theater actress, composer, and singer who has starred as 'Kim' in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon.
Biography and early career
Almedilla was born on September 19, 1973 to Agapito and Rosario, whose roots are from Bohol and Cebu in The Philippines.
According to an interview by AsianWeek on June 1, 2000, Joan, who wanted to sing, did not want to be an actress. But through her love of music she stumbled upon the much-coveted role of 'Kim' in the Broadway production of "Miss Saigon." The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Almedilla moved to the United States in 1993 to pursue a college education. Little did she know that her formal voice training and previous performing experience while in The Philippines would lead her on the road to stardom.
As a child, Joan enjoyed competing in many talent contests in the Philippines.
Unlike most theater actors who spend years honing their craft, Almedilla never had formal drama instruction, yet she is now one of the most sought-after actresses in the theater. She eventually landed the role of 'Fantine' in "Les Misérables,"  billed as one of the longest-running and the "world's most popular" musical.
Almedilla's career took off when she landed the role of 'Kim' in the Broadway production of "Miss Saigon" (1995–1997). She then moved on to portray the role of 'Fantine' on the Third National Tour of "Les Miserables" (1999–2000 and 2005–2006). Her other credits include: 'Soul Girl' on the Broadway National Tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (2002–2004); and 'Woman' in "Songs for A New World" (2005) at the Rubicon Theater, which had been nominated for several Ovation Awards including Best Ensemble Cast.
In 2007, Almedilla starred in the famous Here Lies Love staged at Carnegie Hall's main theater, the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, with nearly 3,000 music patrons and enthusiasts in attendance. Here Lies Love presented Imelda Marcos meditating on events in her life; from her childhood spent in poverty to her rise to power, and her ultimate departure from the presidential palace. In particular, the production looked at the relationship between Imelda and a servant from her childhood, Estrella Cumpas, who appeared at key moments in Imelda's life. Almedilla was the only Filipino in the cast, provided the vocals for Mrs. Marcos, with Byrne for Ferdinand Marcos and Ninoy Aquino. Byrne, who also has an Oscar and a Golden Globe, is best known as a founding member and the principal songwriter of the new wave band Talking Heads.
Almedilla had the privilege of reciting two poems (Wonderment and A Hill in the Land of Moriah) composed by Pope John Paul II and the United Nations. Among the attendees were former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and New York's Cardinal Egan. She is played the role of Himiko Hamilton, the lead in "Tea, With Music" at East West Players.
She has directed several fundraisers including: Hope For A New World (benefiting the victims of Tsunami disasters in South Asia) and Give A Child Hope (together with Places Please and World Vision to benefit The Children of Rwanda).
Almedilla supports Broadway Cares: Equity Fights Aids, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Almedilla is married to Filipino American film director Charles Uy, whose film about 9/11, Yasin, is an official entry in the short film category of the Berlin International Film Festival. Uy is known for his much-awarded film thesis Waiting in the Wings, which was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and the Directors Guild of America.
- Les Misérables (as Fantine)
- Miss Saigon (as Kim)
- Krunk Fu Battle Battle (as Jean Lee)
- Songs for a New World
- Jesus Christ Superstar (Soul Girl/ Magdelene Us.)
- It's Only Life
- Tea, With Music (Himiko Hamilton)
- The Speed Walker
- Que Platon
- Making Tracks
- Seer from Saigon
- Stage 3: True Colors (Featured Artist)
- Joan A. (Solo Artist)
- Journeys of My Heart
- September Songs
- Simply Joan
- Perlas Awards - Philippine Foundation, Cebu City
- Certificate of Recognition in the field of Performing Arts - Bohol Circle of Eastern, USA (1998, 2000)
- Apollo Awards for Best of Apollo Nights (1994)
- Champion, Best of Cebu Pop Music Festival (January 1993)
- Most Perfect Voice Music Mate Star (1989)
- Regional Champion, Music Mate Star (Cebu City) (1989)