TIM MILLER, playwright and performance artist was born in Pasadena, California. He was one of the NEA Four, four performance artists whose National Endowment for the Arts grants were vetoed in 1990 by NEA chair John Frohnmeyer.
Miller’s interest in performance began in high school, where he took classes in theater and dance. He played the lead role of John Proctor in Lowell High School’s production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. At nineteen he moved to New York and studied dance with Merce Cunningham.
In 1980 Miller joined with Charles Moulton, Peter Rose and Charles Dennis to found P.S. 122, a space for performance art. The name derives from the former school building that houses the project. In 1987 Miller returned to California and with Linda Frye Burnham founded another performance space, Highways, in Santa Monica.
In 1993 Miller was featured in the episode of The Larry Sanders Show called The Performance Artist. He played himself as the titular performance artist, who appears as a guest both on Larry Sanders’ show and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno performing a portion of My Queer Body. In 1997 Miller published Shirts & Skin, a compilation of personal stories that he had told in his shows over the previous decade. He also launched a show of the same name.
Miller took on a new topic, immigration rights for gay and Lesbian partners of American citizens, in Glory Box (1999). The immigration issue is a personal cause as Alistair McCartney, his partner since 1994, is Australian.
In 2002 Miller published Body Blows, a collection of scripts from six of his shows with associated essays.
Miller returned to the theme of the problems of Americans with same-sex life partners in the show Us in 2003. The title refers both to his relationship with McCartney and to the laws in the United States which could prevent them from being together.