Yellow Earth Theatre

Yellow Earth was established in 1995 to develop new theatre work by British East Asian (BEA) artists and to engage audiences from all backgrounds in this work through public readings and touring productions.

It fuses eastern and western performing traditions to celebrate the meeting of different cultures and presents productions in London and on tour, along with programmes developing and promoting new BEA writers, directors and performers. The company has an extensive education and outreach programme, working with community groups as well as schools and colleges.

In a process of artistic renewal led by new Artistic Director, Kumiko Mendl, the company is now setting out to engage audiences in participatory and immersive work in new spaces with an ambition to produce fresh, vibrant work that reflects the BEA experience and create new opportunities for emerging and established BEA artists.

Yellow Earth Theatre
  • Produces bold new work or new adaptations of high quality British East Asian (BEA) theatre
  • Engages audiences from all backgrounds in this work through public readings and touring productions
  • Encourages BEA audiences to attend to develop access and new audiences
  • Educates people from all cultural backgrounds, particularly children and young people about BEA theatre forms and styles
  • Works to raise the profile of BEA theatre artists nationally as well as in London to break the glass ceiling of cultural “invisibility” in the UK, and to integrate BEA theatre into mainstream British cultural life
  • Promotes cultural exchange, particularly between British and East Asian artists
  • Challenges prejudice and stereotyping, and creates more opportunities for BEA artists to express themselves fully
  • Offers writers, devisers and directors time, space and facilities to develop creative and original new work they are passionate about
  • Encourages and supports emerging artists to develop the next generation of BEA theatre-makers

Yellow Earth Theatre is named after the seminal Chinese film, Yellow Earth by Chen Kaige, in his directorial debut with cinematography by Zhang Yimou (later to become an esteemed and highly successful director in his own right). The film was part of the 5th generation of "new wave" Chinese filmmakers to come out of the 80’s, and its combination of poetic lyricism and dark drama inspired many artists and audiences around the world. This group of filmmakers pioneered the bold, confident contemporary work that came out of China and reached Western audiences.

Who We are
Artistic Director Kumiko Mendl
Associate Producer Chris Corner
Interactive Associate Mark Wu

Patron Sir David Tang KBE

Wai Mun Yoon(Chair)
Daniel Gilsenan
Clive Duncan
Maninder Gill
Jonathan Kennedy
Ming Kong
Lin Marsh


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