James Hull Miller


Read a memorial of James Hull Miller


  • Princeton University, BA in English Literature (1939)

Employment History:

  • Technical Director for a procession of small theatres including: Easthampton, NY; Locust Valley Theatre, NY; Stockbridge Theatre, MA  (1939-1940)
  • Lighting Designer, Graff Ballet Company (1940-1941)
  • U. S. Army, Master Sergeant w/ 24th Armored Division, WWII (1941-1945)
  • Assistant Business Manager, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL  (1945-1946)
  • Faculty, University of New Mexico (1946-1955)
  • Faculty Technical Director, Centenary College, Shreveport, LA (1955-1958)
  • Consultant, Majorie Lyons Little Theatre, Shreveport, LA (1955-1958)
  • Founder, Arts Lab workshops (1958)
  • Editor’s note: It was during the Lyons consulting commission that Mr. Miller developed his ideas on the open staging of theatre and opera.  He felt that this concept of self-standing scenery and open staging could be adapted to any space and could open the world of the theatre to everyone.  His subsequent teaching through the Arts Lab, its workshops, and his extensive consulting work were to become a lifelong mission to proselytize and advocate for this simpler form of theatrical presentation.
  • Theatre Consultant, primarily to high schools, churches, community colleges and Little Theatres around the U. S. and abroad (1958-1988)
  • Commissioned by the County Educational Authorities in Great Britain to present a series of 40 workshops on his open staging theories throughout the United Kingdom (1972)


  • Self published numerous small books and pamphlets on open staging and theatre for found spaces.
  • Partnered with Al Koga of Hub Electric.  Hub took over publishing of Mr. Miller’s books until the rights were sold to Merideth Publishing, Ltd. Editor’s note:­ To date 27 titles have been identified and several are still in print and available today.   
  • Authored numerous articles for periodicals including: AIA Journal, American School and University, Theatre Arts, Progressive Architecture, RIBA Journal, TABS, and Tulane Drama Review

USITT involvement and offices held:

  • USITT Founding Member
  • Board of Directors
  • Founding Member of American Society of Theatrical Consultants

Awards and Honors: 

  • Elected USITT Fellow (1978)
  • Two Bronze Stars for valor while serving with the 24th armored Division, U. S. Army