Giving local Asian communities a voice through theatre

Publish Date : 19 May 2023
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First reading of How to Throw a Chinese Funeral, 2020

Budding playwrights are listening to first readings of their work at Proudly Asian Theatre’s seasonal platform ‘Fresh off the Page Aotearoa’.

This year’s programme includes readings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, staged to meet the company’s mission of empowering Asian talent to produce contemporary works that break down barriers to acceptance in Aotearoa.

“It’s one of our key community endeavours. As well as giving artists a platform to showcase their work as a stepping-stone to turning it into something bigger, Fresh off the Page has become a networking opportunity for the Asian theatre community,” Proudly Asian Theatre producer John Rata says.

“Many practitioners, including newcomers, have found fruitful creative partnerships and connections through the programme."

Scriptwriters are teamed with a director and cast featuring emerging and experienced talent.

Not Woman Enough – staged at Basement Theatre this year, and Basmati Bitch – on at Q Theatre in July, both had their first readings at Fresh off the Page in 2019. Later this year Proudly Asian Theatre is co-producing How to Throw a Chinese Funeral, which came out of the initiative in 2020.

Waitematā Local Board contributed funding for rehearsal space for the production in a Quick Response Grant round.

“It’s so important our diverse communities are supported to share their cultures and tell their stories,” chair Genevieve Sage says.

“We’re impressed by Proudly Asian Theatre’s nurturing programmes for flourishing Asian creatives, and we look forward to seeing How to Throw a Chinese Funeral on stage.”

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