Finding a lack of space for experimentation and play in Vancouver’s theatre scene, New(to)Town Collective formed to provide accessible, low-barrier physical theatre training to the community. Our host, Am Johal speaks to two of the collective’s founding artists and alumni of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, June Fukumura and Anjela Magpantay. They discuss barriers facing emerging artists in the city, as well as how they embrace messiness and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in their by-donation Training Jams. The collective blends different artistic practices in their training and in the creation of new works, spanning from clowning to contemporary dance, to playwriting, to dramaturgy and more. Anjela and June also give Am a taste of what goes on in a Training Jam, guiding him through a sound and movement exercise.June Fukumura is an award winning Japanese-Canadian theatre artist based in Vancouver, BC. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Popcorn Galaxies, an experimental theatre company that has produced over ten independent productions presented at Centre A, Vancouver Fringe Festival, BC Culture Days, and the rEvolver Festival. Additionally, June is the Co-Founder of New(to)Town Collective an artist collective with a mandate to create new experimental works; provide ongoing accessible physical theatre training; and experimental research workshops in Vancouver. June is the creator and performer of My Name is SUMIKO, a one woman clown performance featuring June’s alter ego, Sumiko. This show was produced by New(to)Town Collective and won the Public Market Pick of the Fringe Award at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2019.She has studied Grotowski inspired physical theatre, Pochinko clowning, directing, dramaturgy, devising, and improvisation. Her practice is a blend of experimental contemporary theatre and clown, site-responsive and site-specific art making, embodied performance techniques, and community engaged theatre and education.Anjela Magpantay is an immigrant, actor, producer, teacher, director, and collaborator with various artists of different disciplines. After co-founding New(to)Town Collective, she has gone on to intensely study Grotowski and Clown training to bring back to the Collective. She has worked internationally, touring the UK with Foreign Radical by Theatre Conspiracy and toured to Hong Kong with A Wake of Vultures for their newly devised piece Walking at Night by Myself by Nancy Tam. Anjela is currently honing her leadership skills and specializing as a Cultural Consultant in multilingual Filipinx plays. Anjela holds a BFA from SFU's theatre program and continues it's rigorous training lineage in New(to) Town's Training Jams.
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