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Opening The Door : East Asians in British Theatre

11 February 2013

Opening The Door : East Asians in British Theatre

The Young Vic

in partnership with Arts Council England, SOLT/TMA, CDG, Equity, ITC and the Young Vic

10:30 - 5

Opening The Door: what are we going to do - right now- to end the marginalisation of East Asians in British theatre?



My name’s Daniel York. I've been an actor for twenty years and in that time I've played the lead in a play that sold out at the Royal Court, was personally recommended by Alan Rickman to play Fortinbras to his Hamlet, did a season at the RSC, also worked at the National, Edinburgh Traverse and Hampstead Theatre and won an award in Singapore but I've found I've hit a massive glass ceiling where I go for literally one theatre audition a year because I don't look Chinese enough to play crap Chinese parts on TV.

 

It has often seemed to me that in the last 10 or 15 years our industry has sat back and congratulated itself on the increased number of “Black & Asian” faces on our stages. Unfortunately “Asia” all too often has stopped dead at Pakistan. "East Asia" (according to wikipedia) consists of Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Nepal and Mongolia. East Asians (the fastest growing minority group in Britain today) have been sidelined, ignored and marginalised to the extent that even now it often appears to me that theatre producers will even actively avoid casting them in plays.

 

It’s my contention that East Asians are a third class ethnic minority in terms of UK media. I would go as far as to say East Asians are treated almost as a sub species. Reduced to silent and even grotesque stereotypes with no empowerment or presence. Our diversity, our experience and our talents unrecognised, even our BRITISHNESS such is our status as perennial foreigners, and all too often we are forced to rely on physicality and archaic exotica in order to gain any kind of employment opportunities.

 

Those are my views and I’ve also incorporated things other people have said as well. But what about your views, your opinions, your questions? Let’s freely express ourselves right here right now and really tackle these burning questions-

 

Why are East Asians continually discriminated against in UK media?

 

Why are East Asians perennially invisible in UK media and what are we going to do to address this?

 

What can we do to we change the current tokenistic representation of East Asians in UK theatre into a more integrated one?

 

In other words-

 

What are we going to do - right now - to end the marginalisation of East Asians in British theatre?

 

 



Opening The Door: what are we going to do - right now- to end the marginalisation of East Asians in British theatre?

 

A one day open space

Facilitated by Lee Simpson from Improbable 

in partnership with Arts Council England, SOLT/TMA, CDG and the Young Vic

 

11 February 2013, 10:30am - 5:00pm

Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LZ

 

 

Although Open Space may be new to you it has been used successfully all over the world.
It is an exciting open-ended event that enables a self-organising group to use its collective imagination to deal with complex issues and it will achieve this in an incredibly short space of time.
By the end of the event the following will have occurred:

- Every issue of concern to anybody will have been raised, if they took responsibility for doing that
- All issues will have received full discussion, to the extent desired
- A full report of issues and discussions will be in the hands of all participants.
- And YOU will have taken part in making it happen.

TICKETS - Tickets are limited so please book early to ensure your place
  

HOW TO BOOK
 
Actors and performers can book by clicking this link.

All other theatre professionals can book by clicking this link.

You can also book by emailing events@solttma.co.uk or calling on 020 7557 6746.

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