Leading British East Asian theatre company Yellow Earth Theatre and woman’s theatre company Sphinx Theatre today announce that Joanne Lau has been selected as one of the fifteen playwrights chosen for the Sphinx 30 programme, a writing programme designed for female playwrights in the UK marking Sphinx’s 30th anniversary.

Lau will receive a £1000 commission and attend the Sphinx Lab which includes guidance from leading playwrights Winsome Pinnock (Leave Taking), April de Angelis (My Brilliant Friend) and Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good). Other tutors include co-founder of ATG and Trafalgar Entertainment Dame Rosemary Squire, Head of Theatre and Dance at the Barbican Toni Racklin, Chief Executive of Nottingham Playhouse Stephanie Sirr, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre Brigid Larmour, Sphinx Literary Director Jennifer Tuckett and Sphinx Artistic Director Sue Parrish.

Joanne Lau today said, “I am honoured and excited to be Yellow Earth's selection for the Spinx 30 programme. The list of tutors is absolutely mind blowing and I can't explain how much it means to be given the opportunity to hear these women speak about their craft. After the wonderful experience I had on the Yellow Earth Professional Writers Programme, I can't wait to see what we create together this time!

Sue Parrish, Artistic Director of Sphinx Theatre, said “We are delighted to be working with Yellow Earth as one of the 15 leading theatre company partners on Sphinx 30. To work with each other to develop and pilot the Sphinx Lab to support female playwrights in the UK in the year of Sphinx’s 30th anniversary and Yellow Earth’s 25thanniversary makes it even more special.”

We are thrilled and very proud that the 15 theatre companies who have joined the Sphinx 30 project are representative of British society, and are at the beating heart of artistic innovation in the theatre. Yellow Earth has a unique remit to work with and champion writers of East and South East Asian heritage and so brings an important lens to this project, as the theatre world regenerates."

Joanne Lau is a Canadian-Chinese writer living in the UK. Her theatre credits include Worth which was developed on Yellow Earth’s Professional Writers Programme and Love By Numbers (Canal Café Theatre).

The other female playwrights co-funded by leading theatres are:

Bush Theatre: Sarah Connors
Derby Theatre: Rommi Smith
Graeae Theatre Company: Anita Kelly
Hull Truck Theatre: Maureen Lennon
Kali Theatre: Satinder Chohan
Leeds Playhouse: Gemma Bedeau
Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres: Ginni Manning
Nottingham Playhouse: Jane Upton
Octagon Theatre Bolton: Punam Ramchurn
Red Ladder Theatre Company: Bea Webster
Salisbury Playhouse: Hannah Treadaway
Stephen Joseph Theatre: Janice Okoh
Theatr Clwyd: Ming Ho
Watford Palace Theatre: Suzette Coon