ITim Miller is an internationally acclaimed perform-
|ance artist. His creative work as a performer and
^writer explores the artistic, spiritual, and political
Itopography of his identity as a gay man. Hailed for
|his humor and passion, he has tackled this challenge
®in such pieces as Live Boys (1981, created with John
Bernd), Postwar (1982), Cost Of Living (1983), Democracy in America (1984), Buddy Systems (1985, created with Doug Sadownick), Some Golden States (1987), Stretch Marks (1989), Sex/Love/Stories (1991), My Queer Body (1992), Naked Breath (1994), Fruit Cocktail (1996), Shirts & Skin (1997), Glory Box (1999), Body Blows (2002), and Us (2003).
His performances have been presented all over North America and Europe in such prestigious venues as the Yale Repertory Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the author of the books Shirts & Skin and Body Blows. His solo theater works have been published in the play collections O Solo Homo and Sharing the Delirium.
Since 1990, Mr. Miller has taught performance in the theater department at UCLA and the dance program at California State University, Los Angeles. He is a cofounder of the two most influential performance spaces in the United States: Performance Space 122 on Manhattan's Lower East Side and the Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, California.
Mr. Miller has received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1990, he was awarded an NEA Solo Performer Fellowship, which was overturned under political pressure from the Bush White House because of the gay themes of his work. Mr. Miller and three other artists, the so-called NEA 4, successfully sued the federal government with the help of the ACLU for violation of their
First Amendment rights, and won a settlement in which the government paid them the amount of the defunded grants and all court costs. Though the Supreme Court of the United States decided in 1998 to overturn part of his case and determined that "standards of decency" are constitutional criteria for federal funding of the arts, Mr. Miller vows "to continue fighting for freedom of expression for fierce, diverse voices."
Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America, has said, "Tim Miller has been at the heart of things, giving voice to what matters most, for the entirety of his career. His work is an extraordinary fusion of history, observation, politics, and a kind of shamanism."
Michael Feingold of the Village Voice has said of Tim Miller's work, "The [title Glory Box is] the Australian equivalent of 'hope chest,' but if you think it contains a double entendre, you're probably right, since this glory box is Tim Miller's latest solo piece and the writer-performer isn't likely to let such implications pass unnoted. The subject—immigration rights for same-sex partners—is a thorny one, but Miller has a gift for letting one topic open surprising doors onto a multitude of others; his works are as canny and complex as they are charming."
Was this article helpful?