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Free Spotlight subscription and £1k offered in bursary scheme

Kumiko Mendl, artistic director of Yellow Earth Theatre. Photo: Suki Mok Kumiko Mendl, artistic director of Yellow Earth Theatre. Photo: Suki Mok
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Casting directory Spotlight has announced that it will offer a year’s free subscription to a final-year drama student of East Asian descent.

The subscription will be won as part of the Constellation Creatives Bursary, an award that also provides the winner with £1,000.

It is run by Yellow Earth Theatre, a company that puts British East Asian actors, directors and writers at the centre of its work. The award has been in place since 2012 and aims to aid the transition between student and professional actor.

This is the first year that Spotlight has offered a free subscription as part of the bursary.

Kumiko Mendl, artistic director of Yellow Earth, said: “Good photos – or headshots – are vital for an actor’s Spotlight entry and the bursary will help towards paying for those headshots. With this bursary and Spotlight’s generous offer of a year’s free subscription to the winning graduate, we can give a young BEA actor much-needed support at the very start of his or her career.”

In order to be eligible, entrants must be in the final year of drama school and have at least one parent from an East Asian country.

The winner will be chosen by a judging panel and will have to demonstrate in an audition that they have the commitment and talent to succeed as a professional actor.

Actor Orion Lee has provided the money for the award. He recently appeared on stage as Mosca in Trevor Nunn’s production of Volpone at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and also starred in James Bond film Skyfall.

Lee said: “I believe in the collaborative nature of our industry and in working together to constantly make it better. I think Yellow Earth is a great organisation, constantly offering opportunities to BEA performers. I’m proud to support it and the future of our industry by providing this bursary.”

Previous winners include Jeremy Ang Jones, who is currently starring in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at London’s Palace Theatre.

Applications close on May 1, with the winner announced in June.

Recent Yellow Earth productions include a gender-blind version of Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine.

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