Lay of the Land charts the origin of queer love and desire from a 9 year old’s perspective, a lifetime of battling homophobia in the US, a gay political protest orgy that brings down the government, and finally to the moment he married his Australian husband, writer Alistair McCartney, in NYC on the day the Defence of Marriage Act was overturned. This is a fierce and funny performance exploring the Slings and Eros of outrageous queer fortune.
Hailed for his humour and passion, Tim Miller is an internationally acclaimed performance artist. He is a co- founder of two of the most influential performance spaces in the United States: Performance Space 122 and Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA.
Miller’s creative work as a performer and writer explores the artistic, spiritual and political topography of his identity as a gay man. 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.
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 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.”
Since 1999, Miller has focused his creative and political work on marriage equality and addressing the injustices facing lesbian and gay couples in America. Glory Box and US are funny, sexy, and politically charged explorations of same-sex marriage and the struggle for immigration rights for lesbian and gay bi-national couples. They recount the trials Miller has been forced to undergo in trying to keep his Australian partner in the United States.
“I want the pieces to conjure for the audience a site for the placing of memories, hopes, and dreams of gay people’s extraordinary potential for love,” says Miller.
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 – which won the 2007 Lambda Literary Award for best book in Drama-Theatre. His solo theatre works have been published in the play collections O Solo Homo and Sharing the Delirium. Miller has taught performance at UCLA, NYU, the School of Theology at Claremont and at universities all over the US.
Lay of the Land
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St. Kilda
Performance dates: 19, 24 & 25 January 2014
Bookings: (03) 9534 4879 or online at: www.theatreworks.org.au
For more information, visit: www.theatreworks.org.au for details.
Image: Tim Miller in Lay of the Land