Reading of White or Red

saint agata image.jpg

A reading of new play in progress, White or Red, written by Sara Tilley. 

Featuring Kira Sheppard, Brian Marler and George Robertson. 

Dramaturgy by Robert Chafe. 

7 pm, November 1, 2017

4th floor of the Neal Building, 50 Harbour Drive, St. John's

Admission by donation. 

White or Red tells the story of three writers whose destinies become entangled, whether they like it or not. 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 macho, straight, unwittingly misogynist Sicilian writer in his 50’s who does odd jobs for Turner, sometimes. Themes such as national identity, homophobia, monosexism, trans- and genderqueer-phobia, sexual assault, violent crime, communication across language, chronic illness, revolution, food allergies, creation of community, altered states of consciousness, religion and art weave together to make either a very dark comedy or a tragedy with suckerpunches of clown when you least expect them. An exploration of the polarities of pleasure and pain, ecstasy and horror, what is said and what is done. 

Not suitable for children, strong language and mature subject matter.

*Please note that this venue is not fully accessible. There is an elevator to the third floor, but a set of stairs to navigate to go from there to the venue on the 4th floor. I am deeply sorry, I didn't realize this when I booked this space.

This project is supported by ArtsNL, the City of St. John's and PARC - Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. Space provided by Downtown Innovation: The Common Ground Study. 

DUKE at Cape St. Mary's

Saturday, August 5, 2017, I'll be reading from DUKE at the Cape St. Mary's Performance Series, along with performances by the St. John’s New Music Collective and Delf Maria Hohmann. 8 pm. Tickets are $15/$8 for kids, at the door only. For more information:

The Overcast talks clown with us

Vanessa Cardoso Whelan and Sara Tilley, photo by Felicity Roberts. 

Vanessa Cardoso Whelan and Sara Tilley, photo by Felicity Roberts. 

“I’m an evil ringmaster” Sara Tilley claims, as she’s coaching Vanessa Cardoso-Whelan through a rehearsal of her upcoming show, Ole Clown, which happens at the LSPU Hall ,Friday July 21st at 7:30. More like a hippie mom I answer back.

I’m downright charmed by Sara’s attention to detail, correction through encouragement, and rapt joy in the process of Vanessa’s transformation into Fuah, her clown counterpart and a character that has been in progress since she took Sara’s Clown Through Mask workshop 3 years ago..."

Read Felicity's full piece here:

Clown Through Mask Intensive 2017

Clown students in Cianciana, Sicily, 2015. 

Clown students in Cianciana, Sicily, 2015. 

 Clown through Mask

a.k.a. Pochinko Method

a.k.a. Baby Clown

with Sara Tilley

1-5 pm daily, August 15th to 31st, 2017 (Sundays off)

Neal Building, 50 Harbour Drive, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. 

$600 for 60 hours of instruction ($10/hour). Maximum 10 participants. 

Sliding scale and trade options are available on a case-by-case basis for people who may face financial barriers to accessing this work. 

TO REGISTER, PLEASE EMAIL $60 deposit required to complete registration, refundable if the class is full.


Clown through Mask is for all types of people – you don’t need to be an actor or performer to participate. The work uses games, improvisation, mask-making, painting, writing and a variety of physical exercises to open up hidden creative possibilities, to bring us back to an experience of play, impulse, wonder, a full range of emotions and limitless potential for expression.

This is a journey toward discovering your own inner clown – transitioning from working with a full face mask that you create yourself into wearing the red clown nose. The focus is on personal exploration and adventure, not on performance as an end goal. 

This training is not intended to prepare you for the circus. There are no tricks, no juggling and no stilts involved. Rather, we seek to expose human vulnerability, innocence, and expression through the exploration of red nose clown. This work is a powerful tool for any artist, opening up new avenues of exploration which can be pursued in any medium. Participants do not need to be performers – all that is required is the willingness to experiment, to face yourself honestly, and to move beyond your comfort zone.


Sara Tilley trained with Ian Wallace and Sue Morrison in Clown Through Mask (Pochinko) technique. In 2008, she mentored with Ian Wallace to teach Clown through Mask and Neutral Mask, and has been offering this training ever since. Sara uses the Pochinko work as inspiration not just for clown, but for acting, directing, writing and design. She’s taught clown and Neutral Mask in St. John’s, Vancouver, Dawson City, Winnipeg, Calgary, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Sackville New Brunswick, and Cianciana, Sicily, so far.


What previous students have said:

“Sara Tilley’s clown through mask workshop was truly one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. It pushed me to places that were initially uncomfortable, but within the intimate group experience Sara facilitates it is easy to let ones’ guard down and embrace the zany, wacky, weird, and unusual.” -Stephen Quinlan

“The freedom I felt allowed me to do anything and everything! It’s almost like there was a part of me that came to life for the first time.  In my own writing, acting and dancing, these workshops have helped unlock ideas and a creative energy.  On a personal level, I think it’s opened my eyes to the beauty of everything that surrounds me. Sara is a fantastic teacher and guide. Her encouragement and spirit are so welcoming and freeing, she really makes you excited about the work.” -Mark White

“Thank you for generously sharing this work which is so sacred and close to your heart. You created a magical space and a place safe enough to experiment. The clown workshop has changed the way I experience a moment, the way I imagine the shape and texture of world, what my body is and how I inhabit it.” - Bryhanna Greenough

“This work is excellent training for the expression of true voice.” -Ryan Davis

“After the first class I realized that this course would have a profound effect on my life. I felt like parts of me were breaking out of cement; deep cement that encased many emotions that were difficult to access. I was both physically and mentally exhausted. It was the best I felt in ages. This course requires commitment to face uncomfortable emotions and to celebrate good ones. It is a roller coaster of crying and laughing and truly feeling alive. This translated to renewed fresh motivation in my visual art practice and in my life in general. I highly recommend it to everyone in the world.” -Annette Manning

For more information about Sara, visit


Thanks to Business and Arts NL and Common Ground for the workshop space.