VTA Welcomes Bruce Miller to the Board of Directors

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One of the duties bestowed to the President of the Virginia Theatre Association is to fill vacancies to the Board. A few months ago Chris Bailey left the Board of Directors from his position as Professional Division Chair and I have thought about what the organization needs from this position.

As an organization with an overwhelming amount of secondary school members, the question I posited myself was “who could lead this division and 1) provide leadership, resources, and advocacy for professional theatre practitioners throughout the commonwealth 2) provide resources for our technical, secondary, college/university, and community theatre divisions as they look for advancement into their art and 3) be a driving force in bringing professional theatre artists together throughout the state to advance our mission of connecting, creating, cultivating and advocating for practitioners of theatre of every level, in every capacity, in every corner of the Commonwealth.

It is my distinct pleasure to appoint Bruce Miller, Founding Producer of Virginia Repertory Theatre to the Board of Directors as our new Professional Division Chair. Bruce, as I’ve often described is the Godfather of Virginia Professional Theatre. My first exposure to professional theatre was as a child, filing into the cafetorium of my elementary school to see Theatre IV in action. I was amazed as I watched this troupe transport us into the world of fairy tales or history through their clever sets, quick changes, and talent. Like so many school children it instilled a love of performance in me at an early age, and as theatre practitioner today, I truly believe that Theatre IV changed my life. For that I will be eternally grateful. Bruce brings an unparalleled level of knowledge, talent, and experience to our organization and it is truly an honor to welcome you on board.

After 41 years as the Founding Artistic Director, Bruce Miller transitioned to Founding Producer of Virginia Rep in 2016. He co-produced the world premieres of Rules of the Lake by Irene Ziegler, Four Part Harmony by Marcus Fisk and Douglas Minerd, War Story by Bo Wilson and Songs from Bedlam by Douglas Jones. Other producing credits include James Joyce’s The Dead, Proof, How I Learned to Drive, Beehive, Mice and Men, My Children! My Africa!, and Quilters. In the final two decades of the Phoebe Awards, Bruce’s productions earned Best Play or Best Musical of the Year 20 times.

His work as a director has been seen around the country at prominent theatres including the Kennedy Center and the Paper Mill Playhouse. Richmond directing credits include Barksdale’s productions of The Lark, Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, The Crucible and The Little Foxes, and Theatre IV’s productions of Having Our Say, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and Do Lord Remember Me.

Bruce has received six Phoebe Awards as Best Director of the Year. For TV and radio, he directed The Ugly Duckling released nationally by PBS, and a production of folk stories broadcast internationally over Radio Free Europe.

His Barksdale acting credits include Red Hot and Cole and Diamond Studs (Phoebe Award, Best Supporting Actor). Other credits include Arnold in The Boys Next Door, Berenger in Rhinoceros, Clov in Endgame, Tom in The Glass Menagerie, and Yank in The Hasty Heart.

Bruce is co-author of Hugs and Kisses, the child sexual abuse prevention play that will soon begin the 25th year of its record-breaking run. His play Buffalo Soldierwas selected by the Pentagon as a morale booster after 9/11, becoming the first professional play in history to be performed within the Pentagon’s walls.

He served as a site reporter for three years with the National Endowment for the Arts, and as a professional theatre panelist with the Lila Wallace—Reader’s Digest Fund in New York City. He is an alumnus of the University of Richmond, and is privileged to credit three teachers as mentors: Jack Welsh, and the late Marion Waymack and Bernard Schutte. He also thanks those who taught by example: Pete and Nancy Kilgore, Muriel McAuley, Buddy and Betty Callahan, and Lou and Fran Rubin.

In the spring of 1999, STYLE Weekly honored Bruce and Phil Whiteway by selecting them as two of the “100 Most Influential Richmonders of the Century.” In 2008 Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced the Governor's Awards for Arts 2008, which have only been awarded three times before - in 1979, 1985 and in 2000. Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway share an award with Richmond's Theatre IV as the first professional children's theatre in Virginia, which has performed live for audiences totaling 28 million.

Bruce’s greatest blessings will always be his wife (artist and designer Terrie Powers Miller) and their two wonderful children.

Bruce, it is a truly honor to welcome you to our Board and organization and I can not wait to put your talents to use for the continued advancement of our craft throughout the Commonwealth.

Jeff Price
President
Virginia Theatre Association

Jeff Price