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Online directory to raise profile of British East Asian directors and writers

Alex Chang
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An online directory is being created to give more visibility to British East Asian directors and writers.

Campaign group British East Asians in Theatre and Screen is compiling the list, with director, writer and producer Alex Chang leading the project.

Chang said the directory had been initiated by recent criticism of the Hampstead Theatre’s choice of Michael Boyd, rather than a British East Asian director, for its forthcoming production of The King of Hell’s Palace, which is set in China.

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Chang told The Stage: “The idea came out of a conversation about the Hampstead Theatre and East Asian representation in the UK theatre scene in general. Something that came up as a productive, positive, actionable thing we could do, is to provide a list of British East Asian Theatre directors and playwrights who have experience and are talented and just don’t get a look-in.”

He added: “It’s about visibility. Out of the demographic groups in the UK arts scene, East Asians are continuously marginalised and ignored. There’s a mantra we have been going with, which is ‘we are here, we are experienced, work with us’.”

British East Asians are being asked to submit themselves, or the names of other BEA creatives, to BEATS via email, and include three credits and a profile photograph.

The directory will be published on the BEATS website in the coming weeks.

Chang added: “It would be a really positive thing if we send it out to theatres up and down the country and agents who represent theatre directors, telling them these are people they should seriously consider working with, because they have a lot to bring to the table and not just from an ethnic or a heritage and culture point of view, but just as British artists.”

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