Neutral Mask workshops in St. John's

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with Sara Tilley

Level I - Sunday, March 11, 1-5 pm

Level II - Sunday, March 18, 1-5 pm

4th Floor, Neal Building, 50 Harbour Drive, St. John’s


One Session: $40/$20 students

Both Sessions: $65/$35 students

TO REGISTER: email Sara at Space is limited. If financial concerns prevent you from registering, please contact Sara to discuss possibilities. 


NEUTRAL MASK is a powerful tool for any creative person - it allows you to simplify, to reconnect to the physical body, and to live in the present moment. The neutral mask pares us down to the essential. It is a beginning place from which to approach any new character or project. This work is beneficial to all artists - actors, writers, musicians, dancers, visual artists - as well as to anyone who is curious about mask.

LEVEL I will focus on the essentials for work with the mask. We will use the mask as a clearing tool for the body, to help shed old habits, gestures and postures in order to be ready to take on new experiences. Neutral Mask work is moving meditation - an opportunity to exist wholly in the present moment.

LEVEL II will take the neutral mask experience further into its application as a sponge for energy and experience. Using the mask to channel different natural energies and to create the foundations for character, this session will build on the work done in Level I. We will look at a variety of ways to use the mask as a springboard for creative expression. (prerequisite Level I, or previous Neutral Mask experience)

Sara Tilley has a BFA in Acting from York University, and was mentored one-on-one as a Pochinko Clown and Mask Teacher with Ian Wallace. She studied neutral mask with Ian Wallace, Dean Gilmour and Jill Courtney, and incorporates mask work continually into her own artistic practice as a writer, actor, director and designer. As a teacher, Sara has worked with artists and non-artists alike in Neutral Mask and Pochinko Clown Through Mask since 2008. For more information on her work, visit


Thank you to Common Ground for providing space for this workshop. 


Reading of White or Red

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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: