This paper presents an experimental investigation on the use of perforated plates as dissipating elements within cross laminated timber (CLT) shearwall seismic force resisting system (SFRS) or timber braced frame SFRS. The objective was to determine the strength, stiffness, ductility, and overstrength factor of the perforated plate system. The experimental study represents the first step in a phased research project to investigate the use of a reliable energy dissipating mechanism. This phase includes small-scale connection tests to assess the performance of structural systems containing the tested connections under seismic motions. It was found that perforated plates offer sufficient post-yield displacement in monotonic tests but show significant reduction in post yield dissipation under cyclic loading; analytical studies show that a braced frame system would allow a ductility of greater than 3. Additional testing and studies are planned to optimize the perforations in dissipative plates and to confirm ductility of the overall system of which the connection is a part.