Acts of Imagination for Schools

Scenes from a Yellow Peril

by Nathan Joe

7 JUN - 28 JUN 2022 — Year 12 – 13



Auckland Theatre Company


1 hour 15 mins, no interval


Contains strong language, discussions of violence. Frank discussion of racism and racial violence. Explicit sexual content (described)

An uncomfortable, playful, and enlightening provocation on racism and privilege in Aotearoa.

This is a doom scroll disguised as a play: a world premiere from an arresting new voice. A meta-analysis of Asian identity, carved into razor-sharp scenes that cut to the cultural quick.

An uncomfortable lesson on privilege and racism in Aotearoa. Scenes from a Yellow Peril is less a play, more a series of insights that, when taken together, expose the pain of the way in which some people are othered but whose experience will not be denied.

From award-winning Chinese-New Zealand writer, actor, poet and general polymath Nathan Joe, the work dissolves the traditional play format into a rapid-fire collection of snapshots and observations, flickering past in a rush of live music and hard-to hear truths.

Scenes From a Yellow Peril is a contemporary performance piece suitable for senior students exploring work with increasing depth. The play includes monologues, poetry and dialogue, and has links to Drama and English.


A co-production between Auckland Theatre Company and SquareSums&Co, in association with Oriental Maidens.

Artwork created by Kerry Ann Lee.

By arrangement with Playmarket.



Approx. Duration: 1 hour 15 mins, no interval
Advisory: Contains strong language, discussions of violence. Frank discussion of racism and racial violence. Explicit sexual content (described)
Suitability: Year levels 12 – 13

Curriculum Info


  • East Asian identities
  • Intersectionality
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • Microaggressions
  • Colonisation
  • Contemporary identity politics
  • Confronting systemic racism and discrimination in NZ.

Drama connections:       

  • NZ Theatre
  • Political theatre
  • Metatheatricality
  • Performance poetry
  • Contemporary NZ Theatre practice
  • Deconstructed, thematic storytelling

English connections:      

  • NZ Poetry
  • Performance poetry

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