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.

Full video of Fruithead, a clown play for adults, created and performed by Sara Tilley with Mark White, from the premiere production by She Said Yes! theatre company, July 2013, LSPU Hall, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Sara has been teaching Clown through Mask, sometimes known as Baby Clown, since 2008, when she mentored with Ian Wallace as a Pochinko teacher. She gives workshops on Neutral Mask and Animal Work, as well as body-based approaches to writing. She also works with children and youth, teaching clown, physical theatre, animal work and play creation. Her teaching experiences have taken her from Dawson City, Yukon, to Winnipeg, to Labrador, to Sicily, so far. 

If you are interested in hiring Sara as a teacher or coach, contact her at

Kira Sheppard and Kyle Bustin in Clown Through Mask, 2013. Photo by Sara Tilley.

Kira Sheppard and Kyle Bustin in Clown Through Mask, 2013. Photo by Sara Tilley.

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

2017, Olé Clown!, created and performed by Vanessa Cardoso Whelan, a solo clown show incorporating flamenco dance and puppetry. 

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.

Wiener Shaman, photo by Ryan Davis, image by Elling Lien.
Wiener Shaman, photo by Ryan Davis, image by Elling Lien.