About NEW EARTH ACADEMY+
In partnership with New Earth Theatre, New Earth Academy+ is a new development programme for East Asian and South East Asian performers and theatre makers based in the North West of England looking to take their learning to the next step, develop their artistic practice and processes, and take their project from idea to stage.
After 3 successful years running New Earth Writer and Performer Academies in the North West, we are delighted to be piloting this new programme and supporting our alumni network of over 50 ESEA Writers, Performers and Theatre Makers to take a next step in their practice.
Our cohort will take part in monthly masterclasses with leading practitioners and receive mentoring from project partners. Participants will have the chance to pitch ideas for our next Scratch Nights X Horizons event in February 2024, where successful artists will receive seed funding to develop and share their ideas with a public audience.
The Lowry is the strategic lead for the New Earth Academy Programmes in Salford & Greater Manchester and the academies are also support by HOME Manchester, Factory International, Z-arts, Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme and Royal Exchange Theatre.
Meet The Cohort
Matthew Bevan is an actor, theatre maker and musician of British/Filipino descent. Matthew is a huge lover of fringe theatre, and is fascinated by its ability to explore and communicate complex feelings and ideas in novel and accessible ways.
Matthew has developed and performed in a number of shows for the Edinburgh fringe, as well as experimental performances in Sheffield, working as a resident artist with the Sheffield based theatre company Only Lucky Dogs. Matthew is now at a point in the career to begin leading the creation of projects, and is very interested in experimenting with gig-theatre and other emerging art forms.
Pui-Ka Cheng is a playwright, actor, dubbing artist, puppeteer, mother of two daughters, from Hong Kong. Currently Manchester based. She graduated from the Chinese University of HK(Degree in Statistics) and the Drama School of Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts(Major in Acting).
Credits as actor include:
In Manchester – A Bouffon Play About Hong Kong(Part of: PUSH Festival 2023/Papergang Theatre)
In Hong Kong – Where is our Sea? (Littlebreath Creative Workshop), Kassandra or the World as the End of Representation (Littlebreath Creative Workshop), Color Symphony (Pure Box).
She loves puppets and worked with Make Friends with Puppet, BE Kids and HK Puppet and Shadow Art Center as director, actor and puppeteer. Credits include A Puppet’s Grand Adventure, Bilibala Night Fairies, Forever My Buddies, The Bigfoot.
Lesa Dang is an East Asian Actor based in Manchester of Chinese Vietnamese background, fluent in Cantonese and has experience on screen via television films and commercials. She is an alumni of Yellow Earth Performers Academy Manchester 2020.
Works included Signal Fires with New Earth theatre October 2020. Received funding from the Greater Manchester Artist Hub to self-initiate her piece titled Scattered Families which was later presented at The Lowry’s Scratch Nights in 2022. Stories of her family’s journey to the UK. What life was like during the Indo-China Vietnamese war of 1979 when her family fled on a boat to HK and born on that boat while in transit. This monologue was shown in London’s Museum of the Home – Festival of Home and Belonging.
A Researcher on Looking for You. A bilingual short film by Anna Nguyen & Kristine Landon Smith. The film was shown in venues in UK, Australia & Vietnam.
Sam Jamil is following his passion of Acting and the Arts in general.
Sam has been a part of many youth theatres and was a part of a fully disabled group of creatives that took a show to the Leicester Curve theatre as part of NSDF, a satirical show that is about lives with disabilities. A show that he is very proud of.
He is currently taking part in Factory Future Cultural Leaders course and Unexpected Leaders Programme with Extraordinary bodies.
He has recently been commissioned as an artist of Manchester Independents 2023 with his mother Shirley which they are really looking forward to doing.
Links to work:
Shirley Jamil describes her creative practice as an early career writer, photographer and voice over artist.
Shirley’s writing style is a mix of factual storytelling and social awareness told in a northern, dry but witty style. She recently collaborated with Calico.org.uk to film and edit a social experiment of using public transport from the perspective of a wheelchair accessible route versus a general pedestrian route.
Shirley has worked with Breaking Barriers recording spoken pieces for audible tours around Rochdale. Her son Sam Jamil and herself have recently been successful in being commissioned as artists of Manchester Independents 2023 which they are really excited to be part of.
Amy Jim is a hardworking, and a mum of three. She believes that when things don’t happen for you, you make it happen for yourself! Never give up!
Amy is represented by Cherry Parker Management, and has been in the filming industry for around 10 years. At the beginning, it was more background work, gaining more on set experience. Now, she is working towards more featured work, and learning as much as she can along the way. She attends weekly workshops with Anthony Crank, and is taking singing and dancing lessons. She loves theatre and would like to get involved more.
Kay Hoi Ki Lai
Kay Lai is a musician from HongKong and based in Manchester now. She is a multilingual voice talent/actor/vocalist who can speak in Cantonese/English/Mandarin. She is a member of Composer & Authors Society in HK and will be studying Music Therapy in Manchester. Currently she works in education field and sings in local performances. She keeps broadening her horizons through music and theatre, and would like to further develop her sound journey in the UK.
“Music and theatre offers me a window to express my emotion and opens a door to hope. I hope to use improvisational music and performing arts to connect with people and empower our spiritual communication – a sense of consolation.”
Sarah Jane Thien-Anh Murray
Sarah Murray is a circus artist specialising in hand balancing and partner acrobatics. She has performed for community events and corporate events too. She teaches handstands on a regular basis.
Yanni Yi Lam Ng
Yanni Ng was born and raised in Hong Kong, and is inspired by works that investigate the complexity of human connection, notably surrounding South-East Asian values and the intricate relationships formed within them.
Yanni has been involved in several theatre productions as a performer, director, producer, lighting designer, and composer. In 2017, she was the composer and performer in an amateur original musical, Iffy, at the Hong Kong Fringe Theatre, and subsequently worked on two productions between 2018-2019: Hairspray (as Tracy) and Frankenstein (as Victor), respectively. She also was a part of the Bravo! Hong Kong Youth Theatre Awards Scheme: a 1-year extensive acting course based in Hong Kong where she performed in a professional production of The Secret Garden (2017), and another 1-month acting course in LAMDA, culminating in a private showcase to tutors and students. She started to develop other skills in directing, producing and design at University, acting in projects such as Legacy (2020), Runaways (2022) and Behind the Curtained Door (2023); produced/lighting designed for Grecian Idolatry (2022) at Contact Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe, and Behind the Curtained Door (2022); directed a new short-piece Referendum (2022); and will be stage manager for Skies in the Cloud at the Fringe in August this year 2023.
Samuel Rossiter is a queer trans man and mixed-race actor and writer of English/Chinese heritage. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Samuel moved to Manchester after graduating from university to pursue acting and writing. He has written for the Royal Exchange Theatre (My White Best Friend North 2021, Fright Night 2022) , The Lowry (Shoots Scratch Night 2022) and has had spoken word commissions from organisations including Channel 4 and the Greater Manchester Artist Hub. In 2022, Samuel was on writing attachment to the Royal Exchange Theatre and was also longlisted for the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition for his play The Art Of.
Isabella Wan Ting So
Isabella So has a unique cultural identity of being Hongkonger and Korean and is a fresh theatre graduate from Coventry University wanting to do a lot of storytelling through theatre. She has had experience in working with theatre companies such as Aurora Theatre which gave her the knowledge in producing short plays and the opportunity of directing and collaborating. From directing to video projections, she is in love with all things in theatre and is willing to explore more through this programme!
Instagram – @issabellaso
Sarah Tang is a creative arts producer who has produced arts and cultural programmes for performing arts venues and museums internationally. Sarah (pronouns: she / her) has a passion for engaging diverse and marginalized communities on social issues through the arts. Sarah has experience collaborating with educational and social partners to develop inclusive and accessible practices across the cultural sector. As a producer focused on participatory experiences, she is always keen to work with diverse communities to tell stories of marginalised voices.
With a background producing cross-cultural and multi-discipinary projects, she is currently an Assistant Producer with the Programmes team at HOME, a leading multi-disciplinary arts venue in Manchester where she has supported in managing national touring productions with acclaimed theatre companies like Boy Blue and The Javaad Alipoor Company.
Louiseanne Pui Chi Wong 黃珮芝
Louiseanne Pui Chi Wong 黃珮芝 (she/they) is a movement artist, dancer, choreographer and coach with Esprit Concrete. Her roots are from Hong Kong, and she holds a Bachelor of Music (University of Manchester) and an MA in Choreography (Trinity Laban, London). Her training is in dance (contemporary, hip hop, namely but not limited to Krump and breakdance foundations), soft acrobatics, Parkour and Art du Deplacement, as well as Chinese Pole.
Louiseanne’s expertise and passion allows her to combine Art du Deplacement with Dance and Circus as a means of self-discovery, always circling back to the question ‘Who am I?’. She sees her movement practice to explore topics and storytelling such as authenticity, identity and heritage, and how these affect an artist’s relationship to oneself and others.
She believes in the concept of working on the self to in turn help others better, and to express oneself as authentic as possible, meeting and managing the struggles of being human as part of the process. She views the body as non-gender, holding a humanistic view to the communities she meets, learning how to hold hard but important conversations better in order to keep timeless topics going. She has a wide understanding of the body in both athletic and artistic contexts, having performed in various multidisciplinary works both indoors and outdoors around the world.
Photo by Jordan White
Mei Yuk Wong
Mei Yuk Wong is a writer and producer based in Manchester. She was born in Hong Kong and has lived in the UK since 1998. She writes about various subjects, from personal stories to social and political issues, especially through a woman’s perspective. She has published her own book and articles. She is a blogger for The Points and The Hongkonger. Her plays have also been performed in a range of venues: The Lowry, Manchester, Octagon Theatre, Bolton, and Sweet Mandarin, Manchester.
Andrew Wong is a writer, filmmaker, and performer. Born and grew up in the Northwest, he is second generation to Chinese immigrant parents from Hong Kong. Andrew used to work as an IT developer before pursuing the arts. He started as a screenwriter and enjoys telling genre stories. His placements in PAGE and Nicholl screenwriting contests eventually led to his first produced feature film.
Andrew was part of the Northwest, New Earth Performer’s Academy in 2020 and participated in Lesa Dang’s Scattered Families for Horizons New Year Scratch Night in 2022 at The Lowry. He also spent years in Jim Cartwright’s Acting studio and performed in a few showcases. Andrew hopes to continue telling stories in various mediums.