In mid-May, writer and co-executive producer of the popular television series Grey’s Anatomy — as well as ER medical supervisor and an inspiration to women everywhere for her own rise to success – Dr. Zoanne Clack was in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to work with PMC’s PNG team and the United Nations (UN) in support of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals Radio Campaign.
Zoanne used her extensive experience as both a top Hollywood scriptwriter and doctor to help train the writers, producers, and actors working on PMC’s two radio drama series. Both series, Nau Em Taim (“Now is the Time”) and Echoes of Change, are now airing every Tuesday and Thursday night on PNG’s most popular radio station, FM100.
Zoanne spent much of her time training PMC’s Papua New Guinean writers (many of them women) on how to create entertaining and gripping storylines — think Meredith and McDreamy’s climatic moment in the exam room on “Prom Night” — while also weaving in positive values that can be a catalyst for social change within a society.
Zoanne’s personal rise to success as an African-American woman in Hollywood is a true inspiration to the women of PNG, where the status of women is low and in some areas domestic violence has a prevalence rate of 100%. She is living proof that women have the power to make better lives for themselves and their communities.
The dramas deal with issues that can be sensitive and difficult to approach, but they offer guidance and role model positive change over time using characters the audience can easily identify with. As Zoanne said herself during the workshop, “The characters must have the ebb and flow of life – it doesn’t always have to be so deep and heavy, or always frivolous and light. It’s the in between where you can really have fun.” And fun she did! Check out the above video of Zoanne working with the writers and actors on improvisation skills.
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