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Designing Life: On Stage and Off Stage

Theatre costume renderings, oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings by Columbia artist James M. Miller will be featured in a new exhibition opening Jan. 18 in The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art at Central Methodist University.

Titled "Designing Life: On Stage and Off Stage," the exhibition includes more than 80 works of art by Miller, who is a professor of theatre at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Miller's costume designs, direction and choreography have received awards from the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri and the American College Theatre Festival.

Since 1979, Miller has directed, choreographed and designed more than 80 musicals and plays for the MU Theatre's Academic Season and Summer Repertory Theatre. He has also directed, choreographed and designed for the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre and the Stephens College Playhouse in Missouri and for numerous theatre productions in other states. His costume designs debuted on Broadway in the Musical "Cleavage" in 1983.

In 2000, Miller wrote music and lyrics for a musical adaptation of Horton Foote's play "Courtship (We Were Dancing)." He also choreographed, costumed and directed the production, which was selected for production at the Regional American College Theatre Festival in Kansas City. The show won a special award for Original Music and Lyrics.