Marilyn S. Miller, an accomplished lighting designer, general manager, and theatre leader, died on Sept. 2. She was 88.
Miller began her career in stock in Nantucket, Mass., and after a brief foray into television, she arrived in New York in 1963 to work as a lighting designer and stage manager for the Phoenix, a pioneering Off-Broadway company that also produced shows on Broadway. She soon stepped into the position of assistant general manager, then general manager, and finally the company’s executive director. During her time with the Phoenix, her credits included Boy Meets Girl, A Member of the Wedding, Holiday, The Visit, The School for Wives, and Harvey with Helen Hayes and James Stewart. As a lighting designer and/or stage manager for that company, her credits also included Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad and The Tragical Historie of Doctor Faustus, among others.
After more than 10 years, she left the Phoenix Theater to establish the general management firm of Weiler/Miller/Carrellas, with Berenice Weiler and manager Barbara Carrellas. Their work encompassed both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. As a general manager, Miller’s credits included the Broadway productions of A Broadway Musical, Meet Me In St. Louis, Stardust, Wind in the Willows, Marlowe, and the Tony-winning original production of Nine. Her Off-Broadway credits include A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, Cloud 9, Uncommon Women and Others, G.R. Point, and Ladyhouse Blues.
One of Miller’s passions was mentoring young theatrical talent. Countless management, artistic, and production professionals were nurtured by her combination of practical advice, enthusiastic encouragement, and wry humor.
Born in Akron, Ohio, in 1934, Miller graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a B.A., and later earned an M.A. from Boston University. Among the organizations of which she was member were the Association of Theatrical Press Agents & Managers (ATPAM) and the Broadway League. Donations in Miller’s memory may be made to the Theatre Development Fund and/or the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.
A virtual memorial via ZOOM will be held in a few weeks.
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