Artistic Director Kumiko Mendl celebrates 25 years of Yellow Earth Theatre; the company dedicated to developing and staging work by British East Asian* (BEA) theatre makers. Named after the seminal Chinese film of the same title, the company launched in 1995 to widen the type of roles being offered to BEA actors, writers, directors and designers, with the aim to create fresh and vibrant work that reflects the BEA experience.
Highlights from the anniversary year includes two world premières and a partnership with the Japan-UK Season of Culture. In January Fix, written by Julie Tsang and directed by Jen Tan, opens at Pleasance Theatre; and The Apology written by Kyo Choi and directed by Ria Parry opens at Arcola Theatre on 24 November. Yellow Earth will also launch Tsunagu/Connect, created by Kumiko Mendl with Kazuko Hohki, an immersive production which will uncover the lives of Japanese women in the UK, in partnership with The Japan Society and Museum of London.
In 2020, Yellow Earth continues its commitment to professional development as the second Professional Writers Programme begins in May 2020 which will culminate in four new plays from four BEA playwrights. The company’s acting summer school; Yellow Earth Academy which provides fully funded classes in voice, movement, stage combat and acting for camera in London and Birmingham will expand to include a new writing course, launching in Manchester in partnership with Royal Exchange Theatre, HOME, Contact, The Lowry, STUN and MIF
Artistic Director of Yellow Earth Theatre, Kumiko Mendl today said, “I’m really proud that Yellow Earth is still alive and very much kicking after 25 years. I came into post as Artistic Director in 2011 as the company’s funding was entirely cut, but I was determined to uphold and maintain our crucial mission of celebrating and developing British East Asian artists. So, it makes me doubly proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, with the company now a National Portfolio Organisation and with a slate of exciting productions and programmes to launch our anniversary year. I sincerely hope the company can continue to grow and flourish over the coming years despite uncertain times, continuing to create opportunities for our artists and audiences across the country.”