Archive Page 2

Twenty daredevil actors. One classic NL play. Random casting, total secrecy, one week to learn their parts. Scene partners meet each other for the first time under the stage lights. Think classic theatre meets improv meets cross-dressing meets dangerously high levels of adrenaline. It’s the stuff (bad) dreams are made of.


March 22nd, 2013

8 pm, LSPU Hall

Tickets are $20. Call the Hall at 753-4531 or buy online at

Featuring an extremely brave and talented cast: Petrina Bromley, Courtney Brown, Jenn Brown, Melanie Caines, Phil Churchill, Janet Edmonds Colin Furlong, Didi Gillard-Rowlings, Phil Goodridge, Natalia Hennelly, Mitch McGee-Herritt, Geraldine Hollett, Darryl Hopkins, Allison Kelly, Greg Malone, Steve O’Connell, Keith Pike, Issa Russell, Wendi Smallwood and Mark White.

With a set designed in one week on a budget of $20 by Richard Short.

A fundraiser for She Said Yes!’ upcoming premiere of Fruithead, July 17-21, LSPU Hall.



March 30th to April 18th, 2013, Arts and Culture Centre

$600 (60 hours at $10/hour) Sliding scale available for those with financial barriers, contact Sara for more details.

Only 10 spots available! Register by email to reserve your spot:

Clown through Mask is intended for all types of people – you do not need to be an actor or performer to participate. All you need is curiosity and the willingness to try something new! The work uses mask-making, painting, writing and a variety of physical exercises to open up hidden creative possibilities, and bring us back to an experience of play, impulse, wonder, 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 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 Pochinko Clown Through Mask technique, and has created many different clown performances in the past ten years, ranging from full theatre productions to burlesque numbers to improvised characters who are occasionally seen in public places. In 2008, she trained with Ian Wallace to teach Clown through Mask and Neutral Mask. She is the artistic director of She Said Yes!, and uses the Pochinko work as inspiration not just for clown, but for acting, directing, writing and design. Sara has taught clown and Neutral Mask in St. John’s, Vancouver, Dawson City, Winnipeg, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

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. It was scary at times, but mostly thrilling. Thanks for inviting me into your world!” – Bryhanna Greenough

“Anyone who views art and theatre as a mode of free and informed creative expression will see great value in the Pochinko Clown Through Mask process.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


Participants must be able to attend all sessions.

Sat Mar 30  2-6 pm

Sun Mar 31  2-6 pm

Tue Apr 2  6-10 pm

Wed Apr 3 6-10 pm

Friday Apr 5 6-10 pm

Sat April 6 2-6 pm

Sun April 7 2-6 pm

Mon April 8 6-10 pm

Tue April 9 6-10 pm

Wed April 10 6-10 pm

Thu April 11 6-10 pm

Sat April 13 2-6 pm

Tue April 16 6-10 pm

Wed April 17 6-10 pm

Thu April 18 6-10 pm



Congratulations to all three playwrights, we are delighted to have chosen you for this year’s program. The committee reviewed an array of strong submissions from across Canada and the United States, and finally came to their decision at the end of November, 2012.

This year’s pairings are:

Playwright Hillary Rexe from ON (And the Echo) with dramaturg Lois Brown (QC)

Playwright Camille Thomasson from Texas (Stalker) with dramaturg Sarah Elkashef (QC)

Playwright Joel Fishbane from QC (The Perfect World) with dramaturg Sara Tilley (NL)


Check out this interview with myself and some of my Grade 4 students at the Labrador Creative Arts Festival! Masks, animals, and being shy in the theatre…—clowning-with-sara-tilley/

7th Annual Women’s Work Festival

co-produced by RCA Theatre, She Said Yes! and White Rooster Theatre

Submission Deadline: 5 pm, December 15, 2012

Festival Dates: May 9-12, 2013

Seeking works-in-progress by women playwrights of all levels of experience! Are you at a stage where you need to hear your work read aloud by a cast of actors? Do you need some feedback from a dramaturg, or to hear the words in front of an audience to bring your work closer to production? If yes, please apply!

All submissions must be either by a female playwright or deal with a female character as the central figure. To be eligible, plays cannot yet have been produced, although previous workshops, development or readings of the work are permitted.

Each script will receive a one-day dramaturgical workshop with a professional cast and dramaturg, followed by a staged reading in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. All playwrights, actors and dramaturgs will receive a small honorarium for their work.

Playwrights must be available to travel to St. John’s during the dates of May 1-12 (a shorter trip within these dates is possible). We do not cover transportation or accommodations costs for out-of-town playwrights, but your local arts council or the Canada Council for the Arts may provide travel grants for this purpose. Billeting may be arranged if preferred. All proceeds from the reading series will be donated to a local women’s shelter.

To apply, submit an electronic copy of the following:

-A letter of application, including a little about your history as a playwright and what your goals would be for the workshop and reading time provided by the festival. Please include your telephone number, email address and mailing address.

-A full draft of your play. We do not accept submissions of partial drafts.

-A short synopsis of the plot (1-2 paragraphs).

-A cast list with full breakdown of characters, including indication of
double casting possibilities.

Send documents in either Microsoft Word or PDF format to
(put Women’s Work Festival 2013 in the subject line).

Applications will be juried by a reading committee representing all three companies. All
applicants will be notified by email in February 2013.


Clown Through Mask 2012



I (Sara Tilley) will be offering a boot camp-style Pochinko Clown through Mask training course this summer, June 18-29, Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm daily at the Arts and Culture Centre, 3rd Floor Gallery. This course will cover the full Clown through Mask training in a concentrated period of time.

The course is 60 hours long, with a maximum of 10 students. The fee is $600, and several discounted registrations will be available for interested people who cannot afford the full $600 fee – if you would like to discuss this option, please contact me at To note, similar classes in other parts of the country are usually $1200 and up – I am trying to make this workshop affordable while still paying myself enough to make it a worthwhile endeavour as a professional artist.

The Clown through Mask work is intended for all types of people – you do not need to be an actor or performer to participate. All you need is curiosity and the willingness to try something new! The work uses mask-making, painting, writing and a variety of physical exercises to discover our own inner clowns – 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, and not on performance as an end goal. This work can then be used to fuel any and all creative endeavours – writing, visual art, music, dance, theatre, etc – it can also be an amazing tool for self-discovery and change within our everyday lives.

Students must attend all classes without exception, as the group will progress through the exercises together and any absences will result in you not being able to finish the course. This is my one extremely hard and fast rule, so if you are interested please make sure you can attend the full workshop.

If you are interested, contact me at as soon as possible as registration is limited.

I will leave you with these words about Pochinko Clown, from fellow clown teacher Jan Henderson:

“In a lifelong search for meaning, I have found the clown to be the best,all-encompassing metaphor for the human condition – an uncompromising mirror to look into for glimpses of the truth.  We look at the clown and see ourselves – our hopes, dreams, fears, and virtues, our flaws and our process.  Clowns show us how, as a species, we get into trouble – without ever meaning or wanting to – and how, inspite of ourselves, we sometimes stumble onto sublime solutions to our problems.

Clowning isn’t something we need to learn so much as something we become aware of in ourselves.  Any time that we are curious, playful, or creative, we are in clown mode.  When we are in a state of wonder or awe, surprise or amazement, we are in clown. The clown lives in the place of laughing and crying at the same time.

The character of the Fool is an essential ingredient of human society – a universal archetype found in some form in all cultures and  in all times. The Clown is the eternal child in all of us – the innocent who sees things as they really are and not as convention decrees, who can be counted on to tell us, in the loudest possible voice, that the emperor’s not wearing any clothes.  It is the part of us that has never grown up, that  lives in the heart and in the moment, with no past to regret and no future to dread – the part that only wants to play,completely free of responsibility – and yet is willing and able to save the world if necessary.

Clowning is about the freedom that comes from a state of total, unconditional acceptance of our most authentic selves, warts and all. It offers us respite from our self doubts and fears, and opens the door to joy. And the best part is, we are all already our clowns.  They are here inside us, waiting for us to recognize them so that they can come out and play.”




Women’s Work Festival 2012


6th Annual Women’s Work Festival 

a co-production by

She Said Yes!, RCA Theatre and White Rooster Theatre

A series of new play readings by, for, or about women in celebration of International Women’s Week from Saturday, March 3 to Wednesday March 7, 2012 at 8 pm at Eastern Edge Gallery (accessible), 72 Harbour Drive, St. John’s.

Saturday, March 3

White Flag by Ebru Gokdag (Turkey) with Frank Barry, Jane Dingle, Sandy Gow, Ashwin Gupta, Huan Yu, Stan Nochasak, Wendi Smallwood, Sara Tilley, and Alison Woolridge. Workshop direction by Ebru Gokdag. A powerful drama about female oppression and genital mutilation.

Sunday, March 4

Four Thieves’ Vinegar by Christine Foster (ON) with Kay Anonsen, Colin Furlong, Allison Kelly, and Paul Rowe. Dramaturgy by Mary Lewis. A black comedy about the Black Death!

Monday, March 5

Big in Myself by Ruth Lawrence with Courtney Brown, Philip Goodridge, Natalia Hennelly, Jamille Rivera, Paul Rowe, Sara Tilley. Dramaturgy by Lois Brown (Playwrights Workshop Montreal).  A rock and roll musical about a woman’s struggle to live with and without bulimia.

Tuesday, March 6

Moving On by Emily Bridger (NL) with Kimberley Drake, Joshua Druken, Jennifer Furlong, and Greg King. Dramaturgy by Donna Butt. Two young women struggle through a poorly planned move in a kind of break-up purgatory.

Also on Tuesday, RCA’s Lunch at the Hall Series. Behind the Scenes with the Women’s Work Festival. Noon to 1 pm.  LSPU Hall, free admission, BYOLunch.

Wednesday, March 7

Revelations by Deborah Jackman (NL) with Mary Lynn Bernard, Jenn Brown, Joshua Druken, Ciaran Dyke, Kevin Lewis, Beni Malone, and Laura Marie Smith. Dramaturgy by Megan Coles. A young woman deals with a past filled with secrets and lies as she searches for the truth about her mother.

Admission is by donation or pay-what-you-can (pwyc). Proceeds to Marguerite’s Place, transitional housing for women and children in crisis.

For more information on the Women’s Work Festival, contact Ruth Lawrence at

This project was made possible with support from Canadian Heritage, the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council, and the City of St. John’s.

Interview about Neutral Mask

Listen to an interview Sara Tilley did about Neutral Mask with Mack Furlong for CBC Radio’s Weekend Arts Magazine, leading up to the Neutral Mask workshops in St. John’s in February 2012 as part of the Women’s Work Festival, co-produced by She Said Yes!, White Rooster Theatre and RCA Theatre.


She Said Yes! is pleased to announce that we are bringing Turkish playwright, theatre professor and expert on Theatre of the Oppressed, Dr. Ebru Gokdag, to St. John’s in 2012 to offer a one-week exclusive workshop on Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, as part of the Women’s Work Festival, co-produced by She Said Yes! with RCA Theatre and White Rooster Theatre. Theatre of the Oppressed is a style of theatre creation which is rarely taught in Newfoundland and we encourage anyone with curiosity to register early as space is limited.

The workshop will take place from Feb. 27 – March 2, 2012, 10 am to 1 pm daily. Registration is $250 for the five-day course, and we are offering an early bird discount until January 15th of just $200. This would make a great Christmas present for the thespian on your list!

This workshop will focus on ‘Forum Theatre’ and ‘Image Theatre’ techniques from the arsenal of the Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) Techniques. TO was born in 1971 in Brazil. It is a system of games and special techniques that aims to develop the language of theatre in order to empower oppressed people, helping them fight against their oppressions by using TO techniques and transforming the society that engenders those oppressions.

This special system is based on games of dialogue. Participants play and learn together. The discipline of the game is the belief that we must re-establish the right of everyone to exist in dignity.  Theatre of the Oppressed can be used in all fields of human activity – social, pedagogical, political, artistic etc.

This workshop will include a brief history of Theatre of the Oppressed, as well as special warm-up exercises and games.  This will be followed by work with the Forum and İmage Theatre Techniques.

Theatre of the Oppressed is by,for and about the oppressed. Anyone with or without any theatre experience can participate in the workshop.

To register, contact Women’s Work Festival Coordinator Ruth Lawrence at or text to 709 682 5951.

Check out our other Women’s Work Festival Workshops, Neutral Maks Levels I and II!

Generously supported by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage.