Yellow Earth Theatre today announces that Rogelio Braga, Lao Lee, Nemo Martin and Marie Yan have been awarded £2000 seed commissions to develop new plays as part of the Professional Writers Programme 2020-22. Under the mentorship of director and dramaturg Ng Choon Ping, the seed commission comprises of one-to-one dramaturgy meetings and development workshops with actors and directors over two years. They were selected out of 17 writers participating in Phase 1 of the Programme, and all will continue to meet and attend masterclasses from industry professionals.

Yellow Earth’s Professional Writers Programme is a two-year programme for writers of East and Southeast Asian descent, supporting those writers with their play development, ideas and craft. Previous commission recipients include Julie Tsang, whose play Fix ran at The Pleasance in January 2020; Kyo Choi, whose play The Apology is forthcoming at the Arcola Theatre; Amy Ng, who recently adapted Miss Julie for Chester Storyhouse in February 2020; and Joanne Lau, who has just been selected for the Sphinx 30 female playwrights programme.

Rogelio Braga todaysaid, “Miss Philippines is a play that explores the themes of loss, violence, beauty, and the power of collective resistance to a patriarchal fascist regime in the present Philippines. Imagine you are provided the opportunity to tell this story without the fear of state persecution, harassment and intimidation? This is not just victory; this is human life for someone who fled his country because he was just doing what he was made to do: writing”. 

Lao Lee today today said, “I’m thrilled and so grateful for the support and opportunity to work on a full-length play with Yellow Earth. More so than ever, it’s crucial for marginalised voices to be heard and I hope to champion queer East Asian stories being told on our stages.”  

Nemo Martin 
today said, “zaazaa is about something I care a lot about: my friends and support systems, and so I’m very glad to continue writing this play with the PWP, and to continue building it into something that hopefully vindicates fellow angry queers of colour as much as it does myself.

Marie Yan today said, “I believe writing is as much about talent as about environment. We grow like plants do. Receiving the Yellow Earth Theatre seed commission for A Tidal Home is very much the promise of a rich environment to thrive on and deliver my best writing. I am deeply thankful for their trust.”

Artistic Director of Yellow Earth Theatre, Kumiko Mendl today said “I’m immensely excited to be working with all four of these incredible writers, each has a vital story to share with the world, each in their own distinctive way. I feel privileged to be part of this journey and grateful for a programme that can give sustained development and support time specifically to BESEA writers.”

Ng Choon Ping is a director. His theatre credits include Tamburlaine (Arcola Theatre), Crocodiles (Royal Exchange Theatre), Collision/Carla’s Puppet (National Theatre), Snap (Young Vic), A Magical Place (Old Red Lion Theatre), Pufferfish (Vaults Festival), Sellotape SistersGolden Child (New Diorama), 10 Steps 2 Heaven (Tristan Bates Theatre), and The Truth (Singapore Repertory Theatre). His credits as an assistant director includes Troilus and Cressida (RSC), Cyprus Avenue (Public Theatre/Royal Court Theatre), Bakersfield Mist (Duchess Theatre), Nut (National Theatre) and Chimerica (Harold Pinter Theatre/Almeida Theatre).

This programme is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Arts Council England and Soho Theatre.