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Yellow Earth creates Birmingham training course for British East Asian actors

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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Yellow Earth Theatre is launching an academy in Birmingham to find the next generation of British East Asian actors.

The company is aiming to tackle the under-representation of BEA performers in theatre and television by nurturing new talent in Birmingham, which has one of the UK’s largest East Asian populations.

Running from July 30 to August 3, the Yellow Earth Academy in Birmingham is a free acting training programme that will give participants an idea of drama school and introduce them to some of the skills needed to become a professional actor.

Yellow Earth aims to run the five-day course annually in Birmingham for the foreseeable future. The theatre company’s London academy, which has run for the past eight years, will also continue.

The programme is run in partnership with the Birmingham Conservatoire, where the course takes place, with support from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Kumiko Mendl, artistic director of Yellow Earth, said: “For us it’s really about increasing access to opportunities and creating a pipeline and pathway for BEA’s into the performance industry.

“By going outside of London to places where there are significant East Asian communities we can encourage this, and Birmingham is a perfect starting point for that.”

Mendl said she hopes to see more Yellow Earth academies opening up around the country in future years.

Applications are closed for the 2018 Yellow Earth Academy in Birmingham, but information on how to apply next year will be available on the Yellow Earth website.

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