Image: Andi Crown

OTHER [chinese]


OTHER [chinese] is a live, documentary theatre show that investigates the multiplicity of Chinese identity: because being Chinese is not one singular, homogenous thing.

White_mess is based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand).


Audiences gain insight into the everyday lives of local Chinese from a range of ages, social groups and backgrounds, discovering what it means to be Chinese in our community, here and now. Set against the backdrop of interview footage and popular media, the show accommodates up to 100 volunteer contributors onstage, weaving together live storytelling, games and performance all facilitated in real-time.

Together, participants respond to a range of local and global issues, revealing converging – and conflicting – perspectives. A unique opportunity to reflect on the many intersecting aspects of contemporary diasporic identity and consider, beyond the box we tick, what it means to be ‘other’.

An ambitious undertaking, OTHER [chinese] transcends the typical theatre experience: part social experiment, political movement, oral history and archive.

“Educational, gentle and filled with off-the-cuff humour.” – NZ Herald

“The show conveys a strong sense of empowerment through the affirmation of personal experiences. And this is something that we have been waiting a long time to see.” – The Pantograph Punch

“An impressive platform or framework from which to interrogate Chinese identity.” – Theatreview

“An empathetic chorus of human experience” – Theatrescenes


Alice Canton is a New Zealand-based performer, director and producer of Chinese and Pākehā descent. She has a dynamic and multidisciplinary approach to performance-making, with an interest in design research through storytelling. Alice enjoys applying principles in dramaturgy to real people and stories, which has lead to working in theatres, prisons, refugee centres – and everywhere in between. Alice also practices these methodology as a Service Design consultant, applying creative problem-solving skills to strategy, operating model and product development. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from University of Canterbury and a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Acting) from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School.

Alice’s collective practice and artistic nom de plume is White_mess. We believe in making work that matters, and using live arts as a vehicle to create change. Our work traverses many theatrical forms, but our focus remains on social practice, exploring the threads between participation and transformation.