Miller’s Residency to Explore Identity Through Theatre – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Miller’s Residency to Explore Identity Through Theatre

Internationally recognized performance artist Tim Miller will join the HWS community for a weeklong residency that explores issues of identity, body and society through theatre. On campus from Nov. 1 through Nov. 7, Miller will perform his powerful autobiographical piece, “Sex/Body/Self,” and lead a weeklong workshop for students culminating in a public performance based on the students’ personal experiences surrounding identity. 

“Tim Miller is a fierce and fearless performer who has been using theatre to challenge unjust systems and celebrate queer experience for decades,” says Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May. “His self-described ‘opinionated rant with performance about identity and the culture wars’ is both enlightening and captivating and I’m thrilled to have the chance to share this experience with the HWS and Geneva communities.”

In “Sex/Body/Self,” Miller will perform “fierce and funny” excerpts from his work as well as lead a discussion on how theatre can be used to “embolden communities and connect people with one another.” Known for his charged performances that grapple with some of the most challenging social issues of our time, Miller’s performance will focus on identity, culture wars and queer strategies. “Sex/Body/Self” will be presented on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. in Bartlett Theatre.

Every evening during the week, Miller will work with HWS students who have signed up to participate in his workshop, “Body Maps,” leading to the students’ final performance of an original piece by the same name on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. in Bartlett Theatre. In the workshop, Miller will share strategies that will enable students to create an original performance from the “tremendous energies and stories” that are present in their own lives. He describes the workshop as a “fun and charged exploration into creating original performance work from our lives, dreams, obsessions, peeves, memories and desires.”

Miller’s solo theatre works have been presented across North America, Australia and Europe at prestigious venues such as Yale Repertory Theatre, London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. For the past three decades, he has travelled around the world to hold intensive week-long workshops with artists, each culminating in a new performance based on the artists’ identities and experiences.

An author, his books include “Shirts & Skin” (Alyson Books, 1997); “Body Blows” (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002); and “1001 Beds” (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), which won the 2007 literary prize for best Drama-Theater book from Lambda Literary Foundation. Miller has taught performance in theatre departments at University of California, Los Angeles and at California State University. He is the founder of two influential performance spaces in the United States: Performance Space 122 in Manhattan and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, Calif.

Miller’s residency is co-sponsored by the Theatre and LBGT Studies departments, the Young Memorial Fund, and Student Affairs. Students interested in participating in the “Body Maps” workshop and subsequent performance should contact May at may@hws.edu .