As they celebrate their 25th anniversary, British East and South East Asian (BESEA) theatre company Yellow Earth Theatre relaunches as New Earth Theatre. To mark the occasion, they will stage both virtual and outdoor performances – including their New Stories digital short play festival; a short film Duck Rabbit by Pamela Carter in a co-commission with Chinese Arts Now; a phone call performance Homeward (house) Bound by Stacy Makishi in association with HOMEmakers; and Beyond Chinatown: A British East and South East Asian Guide to Manchester’s Past, Present and Future, a performance-led outdoor walking tour through Manchester as part of Signal Fires.
Artistic Director Kumiko Mendl today said, “Today marks a new chapter for us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary as New Earth Theatre. Over the past 25 years our company has been a leading voice in presenting British East and South East Asian stories, empowering our artists and our audiences as well as providing opportunities and pathways into our industry; and will remain at the heart of what we do.
“New Earth Theatre is a moment of reset for our company at a time of great change for many. No one could have predicted what this year would bring, and despite its challenges across our industry and globally we have responded and adapted quickly. We created an emergency BESEA freelance hardship fund, we delivered our professional writers and academy programme online and we’ve discovered new theatrical territory, creating blended digital and live work through our commissions; our New Stories festival of seventeen short plays and a performance-led walking tour of Manchester with Signal Fires: Beyond Chinatown.
“The future of theatre is very much changing and evolving as we begin the path back to live performance, and we look forward to the integral part we can play in creating a stronger future with BESEA voices and stories being heard and told for generations to come.”
New Stories is a free digital short play festival which will be livestreamed across New Earth’s social media channels today, 30 October at 12pm. Comprised of seventeen short plays written by playwrights on the Professional Writers Programme, and brought to life by over 60 BESEA freelance theatre-makers, the themes include inter-country surrogacy and the bonds that tie us outside the white view, to reality TV cyberbullling and being queer as an East Asian.