Sara has trained in clown with Sue Morrison (Pochinko/Gaulier), Dean Gilmour (Lecoq) and Ian Wallace (Pochinko). Her experimentation with the clown form has led to many different projects and characters since 2000, both scripted and unscripted, blurring the lines between theatre, performance art and (occasionally) burlesque. She views the Pochinko technique as the starting place for all of her artistic work, not only as a clown but as a writer, actor, director and designer as well. Its unique ability to tap into deep sources of personal creative potential is one of the reasons that Sara decided to learn to pass it on.
In 2008, Sara travelled to Vancouver, BC, working one-on-one with mentor Ian Wallace to learn to teach Pochinko Clown Through Mask technique, as well as Neutral Mask. This six month, intensive mentorship program was funded through the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Development Grants for Theatre Artists, as well as the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. Sara is now teaching the Pochinko Clown Through Mask technique to other artists, as well as offering clown and Neutral Mask classes for artists and the general public alike.
Selected Scripted Clown Works
Fruithead, solo show, She Said Yes!, 2013.
The Incomplete Herstory of Women in Newfoundland (and Labrador!), a clown play, commissioned by Rising Tide Theatre in 2004. Developed through RCA Theatre Company’s Write On! playwriting workshop, 2006. Presented by the National Arts Centre’s On the Verge New Works Festival, in conjunction with the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, 2006. Workshopped and given a staged reading through the Women’s Work Festival, 2007. Co-produced by RCA Theatre and She Said Yes! in March 2009. Voted Best Theatre Production of 2009 by the Scope’s Best of St. John’s Reader’s Survey.
No Mummers ‘llowed In, collective creation with Amy House, Jonny Harris, Steve Cochrane, Dave Sullivan, Dana Puddicombe and Phil Churchill, directed by Andy Jones, produced by RCA Theatre Mainstage Series, 2005. Not strictly a clown play but created in much the same fashion.
Mr. Invisible, clown collective with Robert Chafe and Pat Dempsey, directed by Mark Wilson, produced by RCA Theatre Mainstage Series, 2005.
Nosebleed, a solo clown show, written and performed by Sara Tilley, directed by Pat Dempsey, produced by She Said Yes!, St. John’s, 2002 and 2004, and remounted for the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, 2006 and again for the company’s 1oth anniversary in 2012.
One Big Mess, clown collective with Pat Dempsey, Pascale Horan, Sarah Malik, Shawn Malik and Tim Ronan, Potpan Productions Clown Theatre, St. John’s, 2000.
Clown and Physical Theatre Directing
2014, Jack Meets the Cat, Stephenville Theatre Festival, used masks and puppets as well as animated objects.
Fruithead, with Mark White, She Said Yes! 2013, clown, Butoh and puppets.
2009 The (In)complete Herstory of Women in Newfoundland (and Labrador!), She Said Yes!, co-direction with Lois Brown. Written by Sara Tilley, featuring Lois Brown, Ruth Lawrence, Susan Kent, Sara Tilley and Craig Francis Power. This process began with a two-week workshop on Pochinko Clown through Mask technique led by Sara, which then fed into the creation of the show.
2006 LULU, She Said Yes! and White Rooster Productions In the rehearsal process for this production we incorporated Pochinko-technique maskmaking, neutral mask and animal work.
2004 Grand Central Station (workshop), She Said Yes!, created by Sara Tilley. This was an experiment in combining Viewpoints and Butoh technique.
2001 Bellyflop, a clown show, written by Pat Dempsey, Potpan Productions Clown Theatre. A red-nose clown monologue written out of repeat improvisations.
Selected Improvised Clown Performances/Performance Art
2014 Weiner Sugar Dance Magic, an installation and performance collaboration with visual artist Kyle Bustin and electronic music producer Elling Lien, part of the Eastern Edge Art Marathon Festival.
2013 INFESTATION, an installation and performance collaboration with artists Sarah Smalik and Jamie Tea, part of Phantom Wing, Calgary AB
2012 Nuclear Weiner, interactive performance, Standing Still: a winter soltstice performance art cabaret,
Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s
2012 Peeing While Singing!,Labrador Creative Arts Festival Guest Artist Performance, Happy Valley-
Goose Bay, Labrador
2012 Clowns On Signal Hill, site-specific picnic/performance with 2012 graduates of Clown Through
Mask Training. Signal Hill, St. John’s
2012 Winter Weiner/Solstice Sausage, Eastern Edge Gallery Performance Cabaret, St. John’s NL.
2012 Clowns Take Over Signal Hill, St. John’s NL.
2011 Clown Walk, Culture Days, St. John’s NL.
2010 Weiner Shaman, Eastern Edge Gallery 24 Hour Art Marathon, St. John’s, NL.
2008 Weiner Shaman, Eastern Edge Gallery 24 Hour Art Marathon, St. John’s, NL.
2008 Nervous Vag and Madge Vag on Air, guest hosts for CABARADIO, Vancouver, BC.
2007 Weiner Shaman (Cheesies and Root Beer), Labrador Creative Arts Festival Guest Artist, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador.
2006 Weiner Shaman, parking lot in front of Eastern Edge, St. John’s, 24 Hour Art Marathon Spotlight performance.
2006 Nervous Vag (burlesque clown performance), Eastern Edge, St. John’s, 24 Hour Art Marathon Host.
2005 Nervous Vag and Little Sis (burlesque clown collaboration with Craig Francis Power), Ship Inn Pub, St. John’s.
2005 Joey Walk (performative Joey walk in collaboration with Craig Francis Power), streets of St. John’s.
2004 Nervous Vag and Madge Vag (burlesque clown collaboration with Craig Francis Power), Ship Inn Pub, St. John’s.
2004 Nervous Vag finds a soulmate (burlesque clown collaboration with Craig Francis Power), Rising Tide Theatre, Trinity.
2003 Vag In the Mall (Buy Nothing Day demonstration performance), Avalon Mall, St. John’s.
2003 Burlesque-Esque (burlesque event hosted by Nervous Vag), TSUBar, St. John’s.
2003 Vag Attack (burlesque performance), Bianca’s, St. John’s.
2003 Vag and her Brothers (burlesque performance with Sean Panting and Phil Churchill), Rising Tide Theatre, Trinity.