Monique Wilson or Monica Anne Esteva Wilson was born on May 4, 1970 in Manila. She was raised by her parents who are both involved in the entertainment industry. Her father Johnny Wilson was a famous Philippine film and television star while her mother Teresa Esteva Wilson was a successful theater administrator in Manila.
As a child growing up, she was already being molded to the great actress she is now by going to different plays even at the age of 2. At the age of 9, Monique and her siblings were enrolled were enrolled by her parents at a summer workshop. Her first big break was when she was cast on the spot by theater directors Zenaida Amador and Baby Barredo saw her perform on top of a piano at a Laurel family party they were all in. After that stint, she was casted as one of the orphans in the musical "Annie" after the one she replaced had to leave the country. Soon after her first professionals stage appearance followed by many others.
She entered college at the age of 17 at The University of the Philippines in Diliman and took up BA Theater. In 1988 she auditioned for a role in Miss Saigon when Cameron MacKintosh came to Manila. When she was 18 years old, she played the understudy of the lead role Kim then after a year played the part at the original Miss Saigon production in London. She returned to [[manila after three years where she ventured out on other entertainment sectors such as film, recording, TV series and a concert tour. After her successful year, she decided to leave the business for a while to continue studying. She enrolled at the prestigious London Academy of Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) where she also starred in some plays and attained a postgraduate certificate in classical acting.
She returned to the Philippines in 1994 at the age of 24 and founded a theater production called the New Voice Company (NVC) which until now continues to showcase quality theater works. The company gained success in other Asian countries after they debuted premiere performances in countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Aside from her commitment to the theater company, she also began directing stage plays and continued her career on movies, TV, recording. She also won several acting awards for her film performances.
Willing to further hone her craft she pursued masters studies (MA in Applied Drama and Theater Education) at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, graduating with distinctions in 2003. Where she commuted to Manila and London frequently. While studying she continued her show business career in the Philippines.
In 2005, Monique celebrated her 25 years in her theater career. And in 2008 she performed for the Tenth year anniversary celebration of VDAY, the campaign to end violence against women and girls spearheaded by the playwright of The Vagina Monologues in New Orleans, Louisina, U.S.A. for a stadium of 19,000 fans. She performed with Shirley Knight, Lilia Aragon and Leila Costa and shared the stage with Jane Fonda, Even Ensler, Faith Hill, Jennifer Beal, Jennifer Hudson, Ali Carter, Rosario Dawson, Peter Buffet ~ among others.
In 2008, the conference of drama school - East 15 in London got Monique to be director for their new MA/MFA Acting course for International students.
In a party attended by the founders of Reportory Philippines (one of the country's oldest theater comapany), she was cast on the spot to play the part of one of the orphans in the stage musical Annie after they heard her sing on top of a piano. This is Monique's first big break that happened in the 1980. Soon after she played parts to several other plays such as: lead roles in The Sound of Music, The South Pacific, A Little Night Music, A Chorus Line, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Fiddler On The Roof, Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, The Diary of Anne Frank, Zorba, A Funny Things Happened On The Way To The Forum, Nunsense, Les Liason Dangereuses, The Real Thing, Little Shop of Horrors, Lion In Winter, and many others.
When she was just 14 years old she starred at the play Evita and at 18 she was casted as the understudy of the lead role Kim after its producer, Cameron MacKintosh, came to Manila. Fellow actress Lea Salonga played the main role, and after a year she finally played the role on stage which she did for three years to return to Manila.
When she persued her studies in LAMDA, she also starred in plays such as: Romeo and Juliet in which she played as Juliet, Anne in Richard III, Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra, Marjorie in The Country Wife, and Vittoria in The White Devil.
Returning after three years she established a theater company called New Voice Company or NVC' and she played lead roles on plays for their theater company in: Oleanna, Angels In America parts 1 and 2, Chess the Musical, Top Girls, My Sister In This House, Classical Monique, The Vagina Monologues, Cabaret, Aspects of Love, and The Good Body. She did work with other theatre companies for plays like: The Glass Menagerie, Threepenny Opera and the original Philippine musicals Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. And in 2006 she starred as Maria in Repertory Philippines’ The Sound of Music.
In 2008, she was casted by the writer of Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler to be part of the play's 10th year anniversary VDAY celebration. In the VDAY performance for over 19,000 fans, she delivered her lines in Filipino to promote awareness of women's rights.
Upon her return after she went to London when she starred in Miss Saigon, she was greeted with national pride. She ventured in the movie industry making four films in just a year which were: Bad Boy 2 with Robin Padilla in 1992 wchich she won Best Newcomer in Film Nomination at the Star Awards, Kapag Iginuhit Ang Hatol Ng Puso with Dina Bonnevie (1992) which she won Best Supporting Actress Award in the Film Academy of the Philippines (now called LUNA), Ikaw with Sharon Cuneta and Ariel Rivera (1993) and SA Isang Sulok Ng Mga Pangarap with Ariel Rivera and Alice Dixon (1993).
In 1998, she made another film portraying Maria Clara at the hit movie Rizal. She was nominated as Best Suppoting Actress in the Metro Manila Film Festival. In 2001 film, "Laro sa Baga" she won the Best Supporting Actress at the Urian.
Wilson released a series of albums in her career which includes: Miss Saigon (ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM)in 1990, her self-titled debut album in 1994 under Viva Records and in 1998 she recorded an album entitled "Monique Sings Gershwin" with Japanese producer Musicscape which features Wilson's versions of Gershwin favorites.
- TOWNS - The Outstanding Women of the Nation Award (for Theatre and Culture)
- the Outstanding Artist of Manila Award (for Theatre and the Arts)
- Parangal Ng Bayan Award for Theatre
- FAMAS Special Award (for Theatre)
- Urian Best Supporting Actress Award for Laro sa Baga (2002)
- Film Academy of the Philippines Best Supporting Actress Award for Kapag Iginuhit ang Hatol sa Puso (1993)
- MA distinctions - Central School of Speech and Drama, London, U.K.
- Famas Best Supporting Actress for Kapag Iginuhit ang Hatol sa Puso (1993)
- Star Awards Best Supporting Actress for Kapag Iginuhit ang Hatol sa Puso (1993)
- Metro Manila Film Festival Best Featured Actress for Rizal (1998)
- Monique Wilson joins Hollywood Stars for the celebration of Vagina Monologues 10th annivrsary
- Monique Wilson
- MONIQUE WILSON: THE PHILIPPINES CAN BE THE BROADWAY OF ASIA
- Monique Wilson's Official Website
- Monique Wilson's Official Multiply account
- The ONLINE REGISTRY OF FILIPINO MUSICAL ARTISTS: Monique Wilson
- NVC Official Multiply account
- NVC Official website