Close  Encounters Theatre


Close Encounters Theatre (CET) was formed by Tara Brodin and Joanne Willmott in 2018.  


CET's mission is to give children, youth, and adults a platform for creativity. We offer unique training opportunities in the performing arts, and create full-scale productions. 

In 2018, CET was selected as Production in Residence of the Jugendkulturhaus Dynamo in Zürich with their inaugural production "Violent Delights" - Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." In 2019, the Inter-Community School (ICS) commissioned CET to stage a production of "Metamorphoses" by Mary Zimmermann. In 2020, CET performed a Corona-compliant film adaptation of the play "The Ash Girl",  an online performance entitled "Extraordinary Tales from a Locked Down World", and a verbatim piece of theatre entitled "Love and Empty Places." In 2021, CET staged a reinterpretation of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales, the rock musical "Spring Awakening", a one woman show entitled "Orphan Disease" and an adaptation of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."

We invite all participants to exchange ideas and skills to passionately pursue a creative vision.


Tara Brodin
Artistic Director


University of Alberta  - Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Specialising in Physical Comedy

Grant MacEwan University - Theatre Arts Diploma

Specialising in Acting and Musical Theatre

University of Alberta - Bachelor of Education (B.Ed)

Specialising in Theatre and Music

Tara is a director, theatre artist and physical comedy specialist. She believes that a willingness to be vulnerable lies at the heart of innovation and creativity.  Tara encourages performers to embrace their missteps and to celebrate them with an enthusiastic TA-DA!  She invites them to rediscover their pleasure in play and uncover the authentic artist within. 

In a career spanning 25 years in more than 20 countries, Tara has led individuals and organisations to success. She coaches executive leaders and their teams in the art of improvisation, vocal technique, body awareness, and various other artistic mediums to enhance professional performance, leadership and communication skills. 

Excuse me...this is the truth!  - Director, co-writer/creator. 

A charming and laugh out loud piece - Edmonton Journal 

Uproariously funny, a solid romantic comedy - Edmonton Sun 

Unusually imaginative, spot on comedic timing and tremendous writing - SEE Magazine  

Don't Make Fun of Jesus - Director, dramaturge. Winner of Winnipeg Best of  Fest. 

Don't make fun of Jesus is funny stuff - Calgary Herald

Exhilarating, life-affirming and always hilarious - CBC Winnipeg

Some of the funniest comedy bits we've ever heard - Winnipeg Sun

Taking Out the White Trash - Director, dramaturge. Winner of Winnipeg Best of Fest. 

This hilarious show puts a comedy nail in the coffin - CBC Winnipeg

See Bob Run - Director.  

Everything and anything should be admired about the production right from the acting to the staging.  See Bob Run is clever, intelligent and incredibly moving - SEE Magazine 

Urge to Kill  - Co-creator/writer/actor. 

Hilarious side characters get thrown into the mix, keeping the show alive from start to finish...the performances were spot on. Ultimately, a dark and thought-provoking work - SEE Magazine

Assassins  - Actor/singer.

In terms of straight acting, my personal favourites are Tara Brodin as Moore, who has moments of Kristen Wiig-like brilliance (SNL) while bumbling towards shooting Gerald Ford - SEE Magazine

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris - Actor/singer.

Tara Brodin is the soprano. She wrings the heart when she opens her mouth. Fringe Pick of the Day! I loved it. An emotional cement mixer - CBC Edmonton

Tara has a powerful and lovely clown... fierce and naughty and full of regret. Beautiful - Christopher Bayes, Yale School of Drama

Joanne Willmott
Creative Director

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Laban Centre London - Bachelor of Arts Honours

Specialising in Dance Theatre

Plymouth University England - Qualified Teacher Secondary Education

Specialising in the Performing Arts

Joanne is a director, choreographer and movement specialist.  Her work explores improvisation, intentionality and the concept of space, questioning how architecture informs movement and how it interacts with the performer. Joanne challenges ideas of performance venues with site-specific work in unusual spaces.  Having set up established companies in the UK, she has toured, created original works and delivered workshops in dance, drama and choreography internationally.  Joanne's work has taken place in London, New York, Berlin, the Gambia, Bangalore and she now resides and is developing new work in Zürich. 

A Restless Mind  - Labor Gras & Dock 11, Berlin

The Secret Wedding Intervention - Hoxton Square, London

Choreographic Investigation - Dance New Amsterdam, New York

Arrival Tour - The Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, The Clocktower, Swindon Arts Centre, Regal Theatre, Truro College, Yeovil College, The Merlin Theatre, UK, Fiji Festival, Portugal 

Ontogenesis - The Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, UK, Fitij Festival Portugal

New Journeys - Bangalore, India, Facets 2006 

Performing Arts Festival - The Gambia

Joanne's work is always emotionally charged and creatively driven  - Chris Fogg, Dramaturgist & Producer

Jo's choreography is inspired and intelligent. Her physical theatre creations are imaginative and powerful - she's a joy to work with - Sarah O'Keefe, Director of Scenario Role-Play, London

Yanya Viskovich
Corporate Training

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MIT Sloan School of Management – Cybersecurity for Managers Certificate

Geneva Centre for Security Policy – Certificate in Cybersecurity

Centre for Privacy & Cybersecurity, Maastricht University - Certified Data Protection Officer (ECPC-B)

Australian National University - Master of Laws (LLM), Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Bachelor of International Relations (BA (International Relations)

Swiss Cyber Institute - Chair of Cybersecurity Law & Governance Working Group

Yanya oversees CET’s Corporate Training, Data Protection and Cybersecurity, sharing her 15+ years' multidisciplinary experience helping global organisations enhance their organisational cultures, including strengthening their data protection and cybersecurity postures. She has trained, advised and/or worked for multinationals, corporate boards, tech start-ups, the United Nations, Governments, law enforcement agencies, and universities, and has taught data protection as well as leadership and communication through improvisation at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. Prior to joining CET, Yanya led the global data privacy program at a multinational oilfield engineering company in Zug, Switzerland. From her very first improvisation class (taken at CET), Yanya was immediately convinced of the power of improvisation as a transformational tool for enhancing corporate life and strengthening organisational cultures, including data protection and cybersecurity practices, by bridging the gap between awareness and behaviour.


Yanya is also Chair of Cybersecurity Law & Governance at the Swiss Cyber Institute and is an expert ethics adviser to the European Commission. She regularly speaks at global data protection and cybersecurity conferences and has published on these and related topics.

Meet  Our Current Artists


Melissa  Tranchet

Drama and Dance Specialist


Emma Kelly 

Script Writer




Dance Specialist


Sivan Perlstein

Dance Specialist


Milica Lazic

Music Director 


Sally Grant

Artist/Scenic Designer