James & Jamesy is a Canadian performance company comprised of Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles in partnership with David MacMurray Smith.
James & Jamesy create multi-award winning theatrical performances typified by extended characters, rich emotion, and fantastical trips of the imagination. Their shows are investigations in participatory theatre that merge physical comedy, clown, and dance to create theatrical environments where audiences feel invited and compelled to participate.
Since 2012, James & Jamesy shows have sold over 60,000 tickets and been performed over 500 times across Canada, the United States, and the UK. Their accessibility and wide appeal is evident by numerous 5-Star reviews and 20 Best-of-Fest awards. Regarded as “Fringe legends” (Montreal Gazette), “Fringe stalwarts” (Winnipeg Free Press) and “One of the most popular fringe duos ever” (CBC), James & Jamesy have firmly claimed a place in the ranks of contemporary Canadian theatre.
A cornerstone of James & Jamesy is its classes and workshops, which help people overcome fears and find new freedom in self-expression, drawing on clown and improv methodologies. We run classes out of our studio in Vancouver, and teach intensive workshops nationally to adults, elementary schools, and high schools.
James & Jamesy partner with other Vancouver-based clown organizations to produce Vancouver’s annual In Jest Festival of Clown & Play. In Jest was conceived out of a desire to celebrate and share the many facets of clown and play and the benefits they hold for supporting the health and welfare of people from all walks of life and the communities they live in.
Co-Artistic Director, Performer, Writer, Sound Designer, Instructor
Aaron passionately supports the discovery of full self-expression and the generation of delight through performance and teaching. His background in outdoor & experiential education, physical theatre, dance, and visual effects have led to international performance and teaching collaborations that often bridge mediums with delight and play as the central theme. He founded Vancouver’s PlayLaughBe Festival to build community through creative expression, co-founded the clown troupe Poupon Parade and is a marketing director of Vancouver’s In Jest Festival of Clown and Play.
Co-Artistic Director, Performer, Writer, Costume Designer, Instructor
Alastair is dedicated to the creation and presentation of performance that emphasizes impulse, introspection, and performance honesty to ultimately strengthen the connections between performer, audience, and community. With a background in business, clown, and dance, Alastair has focused his business acumen in the field of performance arts and acts as Treasurer and Principle Performer for Vancouver’s critically acclaimed Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret and Co-Produces Vancouver’s In Jest Festival of Clown and Play.
David MacMurray Smith
Ringmaster, Director, Co-Creator, Co-Writer
David is an independent educator with over 40 years of experience in the areas of Theatre, Clown, Mime, Ballet, and Opera. He is a movement specialist and an experienced counselor who has drawn on his broad range of experience and sources to develop a body-centered, humanist approach to personal and professional development through creative studies in human performance. He was head instructor at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre School and movement director for the Music Theatre and Opera programs at the Banff Center for the Arts. David was program director for the two-year Ensemble Training Program of Full Circle: First Nations Performance and currently on faculty at Douglas College. He is also a founding faculty member of a two-year certificate program in Expressive Arts Therapy through Langara College Continuing Education, and runs his own studio, Fantastic Space Enterprises, which he founded in 1995.
Joanna Garfinkel moved to Vancouver to get her MFA at UBC, and works primarily in new play development, multidisciplinary and site-specific work. For the past three years she has helped artists and companies articulate their visions for grants, marketing and development. She has taught writing workshops for Urban Ink and PTC. She recently co-created site-responsive investigation of the Japanese Canadian incarceration at Hastings Park, JAPANESE PROBLEM, which will be touring in the next year. Previously, she co-created and directed the pedicab adventure Tour for HIVE 3 with the Electric Company, Universal Limited, and the Cultural Olympiad. Other credits include co-curating, dramaturging and directing the Northern Play Reading Series in Yellowknife, NWT (Akpik Theatre). She was awarded the Pure Research grant for Nightswimming Theatre (Toronto), was nominated for the Jessie award for Innovation (Letters from Lithuania/Mortal Coil), and has received the Sidney Risk award for directing. She often works as a freelance writer and dramaturg for playwrights and companies in Vancouver.
Jill studied at Bretton Hall College in England from which she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Acting. Since then she has worked and trained on three continents constantly developing and defining her skills within performance. She also is a leading performance arts teacher in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland with contracts for Arts Umbrella, Richmond Arts Centre and as a regular featured artist in the Children’s Arts Festival held annually in Richmond. Jill has a diverse resume in her “other” work which has included Administration, Sales and Marketing both as a freelancer and within large corporations (including Foxtons, UK). Also, she can make a really good cup of tea.