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Renowned Performance Artist Leads Workshop at Trent

Tim MillerTim Miller brought his extraordinary storytelling and performance art to Trent University on Friday, November 11 for a two-hour workshop "Our Lives and the World Around Us."

Presented as part of the World Affairs Colloquium series sponsored by the Trent International Program and the Trent International Students' Association, about 20 students participated in the story-telling and performance workshop.

"My goal is to share a variety of strategies to create original performances from the tremendous energies and stories that are present in our lives. Using our own memories and myths as a jumping off point, we will see where a deep sense of personal history creates performance that jumps out from our bodies onto the stage or the page," said Mr. Miller.

"I ask people to look at their lives and find powerful moments where they told the truth or challenged themselves," he added. The students then worked with each other to bring those moments to life.

"You see performers conceive and share these enormous moments of their life. It makes me hopeful for living more deeply," he said.

One example, said Mr. Miller, was the pressure one participant felt from his family to take a high salary job and make a lot of money as opposed to a possible career as a social worker, working with those in need.

"The (participants) created these images of poverty. Seeing it performed was so moving and interesting. The entire room took a breath," said Mr. Miller.

While in Peterborough, Mr. Miller performed two shows at Market Hall on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12. Leading the workshop and watching the participants' performances gives him more energy to do his own show, he said.

Hailed for his humour and passion, Mr. Miller is an internationally acclaimed solo performer who uses dance, movement, drama and his body as tools in his storytelling.

Mr. Miller's performances often combine his social activism, mainly on gay and lesbian and HIV/AIDS issues, with his powerful ability to use his own story to reach out to the stories of others.

He gained notoriety in the 1990s when conservative politicians in the United States used him as an example to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Miller fought the attack on his rights and took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

His solo theatre works have been presented all over North America, Australia and Europe and he has authored the book Shirts & Skin and Body Blows. Since 1990, Mr. Miller has taught performance in the theatre department at UCLA. He has also founded two of the most influential performance spaces in the U.S. – Performance Space 122 in New York City and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, California.

Photo: Poster for Tim Miller's show, "US"

Posted November 14, 2005


































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