Perseverance Drive: Joylene Gillard Character Study

Next up in the series, Akiya Henry offers some reflections on her character Joylene Gillard.

I play Joylene Gillard who is the wife of Zek Gillard. She’s a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and is quite a feisty lady, who throughout the play goes on a journey of having to accept oneself and past.

She found the Gillard family church and Zek after being subjected to years of domestic abuse/violence by her previous husband. Looking for acceptance and a home within the Gillard family she is made to feel that she is not good enough when in their company – especially from Eli (patriarch) and Nathan (eldest brother). She and Zek are ostracised from the family church because she’s a divorcee. They begin their own ‘roving ministry’ and the success of that then gives Joylene the status and confidence to give the Gillard Family a few home truths…

There is a definite love hate shock relationship from the audiences – which for the character is brilliant.

My advice for Joylene would be: Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength.

My favourite line in the play is when Eli says to his son Josh: ‘You still think I was wrong to throw you out…then I was wrong not to ask you back’

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