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A Life on Stage

An interview with Jim Miller, Professor of Theatre

MU Theatre Professor Jim Miller emphasizes happenstance events, moments of inspiration, and intriguing connections as he talks about his work in the theatre—from a revelation while working on a Pepto-Bismol commercial in New York years ago (that he couldn’t “stomach” life as a struggling Broadway actor) to selecting which plays to direct at MU. Now, after twenty-six years of teaching and directing at MU, Miller has not only gathered a large repertoire of these stories, but has also come to believe in the power of such intangible resources as serendipity and instinct in the realm of acting and directing.

Performing the Self

An interview with M. Heather Carver , Associate Professor, Theatre Department

M. Heather Carver is framed by her clown shadow—a black mannequin head wearing a pink camouflage hat and red clown’s nose—as she joyfully begins to describe her place at MU. “I come from a background of performing,” the Associate Professor of Theatre offers. “As a means of studying something, we perform it.” As a way of studying autobiography, for example, Carver performs autobiography.

Theatre Is Where The Heart Is

An interview with Clyde Ruffin, Professor, Theatre Department

It all began with a church play featuring shepherds in choir robes and beards made from plastic bags. A young boy sat enthralled in the audience during this first encounter with theatre and let the characters performing on stage fascinate him. That boy, Clyde Ruffin, would eventually grow up to become Professor and Chair of Theatre at MU and Founding Director of the World Theatre Workshop. Years later, Ruffin admits that theatre is still where his heart is.

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