White or Red wins award! And can now be found online!

Last night the Arts and Letters Awards were held in St. John’s. I was not feeling well enough to go, which is fairly fitting, considering my winning play in the Dramatic Script category, White or Red, is largely centred around the experience of chronic illness. Today feels like a very good time to announce that the script is available for purchase online through the Playwright’s Guild of Canada, and that it’s currently unproduced, making it your next world premiere…?

Saint Agatha. Poor Saint Agatha.

Saint Agatha. Poor Saint Agatha.

In White or Red, three writers, one female and two male, of different types and levels of ability, are forced to form a community and rely on each other to survive. Leah is in her thirties, bisexual, and Canadian. She is coming to terms with a chronic, invisible illness that has ravaged her life. She's signed up for a writing retreat in rural Sicily, and arrives to find she is the only participant. Her host, Turner, is a gay, unwittingly misogynist ex-pat American writer in his 60’s, who was once famous. Tony is a straight, unwittingly misogynist Italian writer in his 50’s who becomes entangled with them both. A hideous crime forces them to rely on each other in ways they could never have imagined, as they are threatened with death if they leave the confines of Turner’s farm. Faced with remaking a world for themselves, the line between real and surreal becomes increasingly blurred as the play continues. Hunger, ecstatic visions, bondage, withdrawal, marionette shows, healing ceremonies, collective drug trips and the makings of a new goddess cult blend together as the three fall further away from normalcy. White or Red is either a relentlessly dark comedy or a demented tragedy, taking on big themes such as systemic misogyny and violence against women, homophobia, monosexism, trans- and genderqueerphobia, national identity, organized crime, PTSD, communication across language, old and new technologies, chronic illness, kink, mythology, revolution, and the creation of community out of sheer need to survive.

Play Readings for the Women's Work Festival

I'll be reading from my latest as-yet-unproduced play, White or Red, at this free event for the ever-mighty Women's Work Festival. 

3-5 pm, Tuesday, March 5.

Science Bldg Seminar Room 4087

Four Women Playwrights!
Presented by Playwrights Guild of Canada and MUN Dept of Gender Studies.

Hosted by Dr. Jennifer Dyer, featuring readings by Sara Tilley, Shannon Bramer, Taylor Graham and Kristin Shepherd.

To celebrate International Women's Week, four of Canada's brightest playwrights will read from their work followed by a short Q&A session.

Full festival schedule:


Performance Art At The Rooms

Sara Tilley performs a burial ritual in downtown St. John’s. Photo by Ritchie Perez.

Sara Tilley performs a burial ritual in downtown St. John’s. Photo by Ritchie Perez.

I will be performing an improvised clown piece featuring a large amount of toilet paper at The Rooms Art Gallery on February 22nd, 8 pm. This performance is part of a series in conjunction with the Colette Urban retrospective on show in the gallery now, and is free with admission to the gallery. For more info on the series, check out the official listing on The Rooms website.


Well past the point when I should have posted, here’s some lovely documentation of the installation and performance project that WYRDOS made for WRECK CITY 2018 in Calgary, this past summer.

WYRDOS is Sarah Smalik, Sara Tilley and Jamie Tognazzini. During the 2 month residency, we worked in a defunct radio station recording studio, inspired by an old newspaper clipping on Charlie Chaplin’s films that we found onsite. The result was MODYRN TIMEZ, an interactive installation and performance which sees the species Charlie Chaplinus ‘happy in his comfortable cell.’ Photos by Mike Tan. The Wreck City documentary by Polina Teif includes an excerpt on WRDOS featured below. We are the third artist/collective in the film.