Premiere Season of Scenes from a Yellow Peril Live Performance


NamePremiere Season of Scenes from a Yellow Peril
PlaywrightNathan Joe
Start Date21 June 2022
End Date3 July 2022
Organiser / VenueASB Waterfront
Director(s)Jane Yonge
Auckland Theatre Company
Oriental Maidens
Key Cast
Uhyoung Choi 최우영
Amanda Grace Leo 梁宿娴
Louise Jiang 江欣玥
Nathan Joe 周润豪
Zephyr Zhang 张挚
Kenji Iwamitsu-Holdaway 岩満 健司
Rhohil Kishore
J.Y Lee 이종윤
Daniel Mitsuru McKenzie 石本 完
Creative Team
Production Designer: Rachel Marlow and Bradley Glenhill
Sound Designer: Kenji Iwamitsu-Holdaway 岩満 健司
Costume Designer: Steven Junil Park 박준일
Dramaturg and Production Uncle: Ahi Karunaharan அகிலன் கருணாகரன்
CityTāmaki Makaurau Auckland


First read at Fresh off the Page 2018 followed by a performed excerpt at TedxAuckland in 2019 and a staged reading at The Civic Theatre as part of Auckland Arts Festival 2021, Nathan Joe’s Scenes from a Yellow Peril had its world premiere with Auckland Theatre Company in 2022 — a moment that also marked the first time the company had presented an Aotearoa East Asian play. A structured “doom scroll” in fourteen chapters collaging poetry, live interview, song and monologue, Scenes is a fierce, winking exploration of East Asian experience, identity and privilege in Aotearoa.

"I never imagined Auckland Theatre Company would ever stage one of my plays,” Joe told the Asia Media Centre at the time. “Especially not this one. But here we are. Now I'm finally writing about horny Asians. Just kidding (mostly)."

In an interview with Stuff, director Jane Yonge observed that while the original script was pessimistic, it had evolved to a more empowering position. “I was really drawn to his poetry,” she said, speaking about her decision to direct the work. “[I] felt that was where the power and energy sat in the piece.” In an interview with NZ Herald, she went on to say “The visual imagination of this work is so important because Nathan paints worlds through words”, emphasising also the importance of giving the audience permission to laugh. “To really sit with this isn't to feel guilty or outraged. It's actually to feel a bit sad about the state of things, but with a lot of laughter along the way."

The production received positive critical responses, with NZ Herald calling it “bold, entertaining [and] challenging” with a cast that “are simply flawless”, and Rat World praising director Jane Yonge for sustaining “the messiness of sadness and rage” through the 80-minute performance.

Since its premiere, Scenes from a Yellow Peril has been read at Tauranga Arts Festival 2023.

Length 1 hour 20 min (no interval)


Related entries

Last updated: 6 March 2024 Suggest an Edit