Tim Miller NPN 2011

Tim Miller NPN 2011

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TIM MILLER is an internationally acclaimed performance artist. Miller’s creative work as a writer and performer strives to find an artistic, spiritual and political exploration of his identity as a gay man. Hailed for its humor and passion, Miller’s has tackled this challenge in such pieces as SEX/LOVE/STORIES (1991), MY QUEER BODY (1992), NAKED BREATH (1994), FRUIT COCKTAIL (1996), SHIRTS & SKIN (1997), GLORY BOX (1999) Us (2003) 1001 BEDS (2006) and LAY OF THE LAND (2009). Miller’s performances have been presented all over North America, Australia, and Europe in such prestigious venues as 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, BODY BLOWS and 1001 BEDS and his solo theater works have been published in the play collections O Solo Homo and Sharing the Delirium. Miller’s newest book 1001 BEDS, an anthology of his performances, essays and journals recently won the 2007 Lambda Literary Award for best book in Drama-Theatre. Miller has taught performance at UCLA, NYU and at universities all over the US. He is a co-founder of two of the most influential performance spaces in the United States: Performance Space 122 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA.

Miller has received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1990, Miller was awarded a NEA Solo Performer Fellowship, which was overturned under political pressure from the Bush White House because of the gay themes of Miller’s work. These 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 where 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 Miller’s case and determined that “standards of decency” are constitutional criterion for federal funding of the arts, Miller vows “to continue fighting for freedom of expression for fierce diverse voices.”

After a nine-year stint in New York City, Miller returned home to Los Angeles, California where he was born and raised. He currently lives there with his partner Alistair in Venice Beach.


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Written and Performed by Tim Miller

Julie Ballard, Lighting/PSM

Presented in partnership with Victory Gardens Fresh Squeezed

Special thanks to Associate Producer Will Rogers

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I’m so excited to share this GLORY BOX with you. Especially since it’s the final show in my book from University of Wisconsin Press BODY BLOWS! Since 1994, my Australian-Scottish partner Alistair McCartney and I have faced a daunting challenge in trying to maintain our relationship in spite of US immigration laws with their outright hostility to lesbian and gay couples. This has been a rude awakening for me to really see how far gay people have to go to attain any kind of real equality in the US. The struggle for lesbian and gay couples to be acknowledged and afforded the same immigration rights that are routinely given straight couples seems so important to me. The fear that Alistair will be deported or that we will soon need to leave the US and go to one of the countries where lesbian and gay relationships are respected for immigration purposes (virtually every western country except the US) has haunted and activated me these last years. Thus, we have this performance GLORY BOX (Australian for “hope chest”) where I hope to lead you on an intense and humorous journey into the complexity of the human heart that knows no boundary. I hope this GLORY BOX conjures an alternative site for the placing of memories, hopes and dreams of gay people’s extraordinary potential for love.

Though it is very disheartening to have so many states that want to permanently enshrine bigotry in their Constitutions by denying gay folks civil marriage rights, on the bright side, it is SO exciting as the civil marriage revolution happens in the District of Co- lumbia Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Canada, Spain, Holland, South Af- rica and Belgium. And Civil Unions here in Illinois! Having been working on these marriage equality issues for years in my performances, it’s very gratifying to have it be filling the media, courts, State Legislatures and national dialog. It’s all scary but thrilling as we get to that “tipping point” of social change! Let’s all keep pushing! At this challenging time in our national life, let’s remember to maintain our commitment to advancing civil rights for all our diverse communities.

This performance of GLORY BOX is dedicated to Alistair McCartney, my partner in life and love. Huge thanks to Roell Schmidt at Links Hall and Will Rogers at Victory Gardens Theater for making this performance and workshop residency possible. Come and see our ensemble performance that has been developed in my workshop at Victory Gardens Theater this week at 7:30 PM on Sunday at Victory Gardens Biograph!

I’ll be out right after the performance to say hello and sign copies of my books BODY BLOWS and 1001 BEDS, which won the 2007 Lambda Literary Award for best book in Drama-Theatre.

– Tim