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The Evidence of Silence Broken: Becoming Zell
How Zell Miller III came to be an acclaimed poet-performer is revealed in 'The Evidence of Silence Broken,' his hip-hop performance piece
Arts Story  September 9, 2005, by Robert Faires
"...When you watch poet-performer Zell Miller III on a stage, fervently, boldly, breathlessly making words into bursts of light and sending them flying like so many constellations spinning into infinity, you're seeing – and hearing, without a doubt – an artist with a seemingly effortless command of language and craft. And when you consider his achievements to date – Best Author/Poet in the Chronicle's 2004 Best of Austin Readers Poll, member of the Austin Slam Team in the 2004 National Poetry Slam, winner of the 1999 Heman Sweatt Symposium Slam and 1999 Austin Poetry Slam, featured performer at Austin International Poetry Festival and SXSW, opener for Nikki Giovanni – you might suspect that Miller emerged from the womb like some hip-hop Athena, fully formed as an artist and spouting a rich, raw, boisterously funny first-person account of his own birth...."

Talkin' the Walk
Hip-hop theatre artist Zell Miller III speaks truth about radio, race, and fatherhood
Arts Story  August 22, 2008, by Katherine Catmull
"...In East Austin's Southwest Key Community Center – a strikingly new and vibrant building in a part of town that is not so much either of those things – Zell Miller III is rehearsing his newest play. Three actors move in and out of gesture and tableaux, from abstract movement to African dance, from children's games to yoga poses, all the while speaking in an easy hip-hop poetic that swings from passion to apocalypse to comedy and back:..."

Theatrical Fuse
Writer and performer Zell Miller III is an incendiary device waiting for a match, and once he flicks an ember into the hidden dry undergrowth of text, there is nowhere to hide. And the good news is that he has only begun to explode.
Arts Story  February 9, 2001, by C. Denby Swanson
"...A writer and performer, Zell Miller III is an incendiary device waiting for a match. From Vivisections of the Blown Mind, his first production with Frontera in 1993, to MadIzm, his one-man show, to mentoring young poets, to Frontera's production of Sharon Bridgforth's con flama, once he flicks an ember into the hidden dry undergrowth of text, there is nowhere to hide..."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Flatbed Press founders Katherine Brimberry and Mark L. Smith, choreographer Kate Warren and theatre / spoken word artist Zell Miller III join the ranks of cultural heroes
Arts Story  June 1, 2017, by Robert Faires
"...Zell Miller III Words have power. Every performance by Zell Miller III is a potent reminder of that, a fierce lesson in language's ability to crack open any issue, pierce any position, slice through bullshit, and lay open the truth within – exposing the deceit, hatred, injustice, or the beauty, hope, light..."

ZM3 Live Productions' Echo of a Refugee ... Me?
Zell Miller III's latest was a state of the city address that called out Austin for gentrification and policies harmful to its black citizens
Arts Review  August 16, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...Zell Miller III has been paying attention, Austin, and in his latest theatrical project, Echo of a Refugee ... Me?, this native son let you know that, delivering a state-of-the-city address from the perspective of the Eastside, from the perspective of black Austinites, from the perspective of a citizen who sees his hometown acting like black lives don't matter...."

Hands Up Hoodies Down
Zell Miller III mounted a stirring, provocative blend of slam poetry, dance, improv, and rap
Arts Review  March 19, 2015, by Elissa Russell
"...Director, co-writer, and performer Zell Miller III has mounted a stirring and provocative production that gives voices to these men and women, answers their cries, and lets them know that their deaths were not in vain and will not be tolerated in the future. Hands Up Hoodies Down, which just ended its three-day run at the Vortex, blends slam poetry, music, rap, movement, and improvisation together for a poignant piece with a message as loud and clear as the chants at rallies nationwide: Black lives matter...."

Web Extra: B-Boy Bluez / Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower
In his 'B-Boy Bluez,' playing on a double bill with Maggie Gallant's 'Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower,' Zell Miller III creates whole worlds on stage and performs his heart out for whatever audience he gets
Arts Review  August 25, 2006, by Hannah Kenah
"...Zell Miller III is a remarkable performer and ought to be playing to huge audiences of hip-hop connoisseurs. He is not..."

My Child, My Child, My Alien Child
My Child, My Child, My Alien Child reveals poet-performer Zell Miller III in Richard Pryor mode, spinning tales of fatherhood in richly comic, broadly accessible style
Arts Review  April 6, 2007, by Robert Faires
"..."My son is the thunderstorm." That's how Zell Miller III describes his offspring at the outset of My Child, My Child, My Alien Child, and in the solo performance that follows, his reactions to this boy are very like those of, well, a child to a force of nature: equal parts awe and terror. As a baby, as an infant, as a toddler, and as a young grade-schooler, Zell Miller IV, or Zelly, displays such inexhaustible energy, gale-force enthusiasm, bottomless curiosity, unshakable will, and sheer ear-piercing volume as to seem other than human to his dumbfounded dad..."

"Drawing Lines: Explorations of Place"
The final exhibit of this public art project shows how every district in Austin has had artists working for it
Arts Story  March 31, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...The works they made were shown in their home districts over the latter half of 2015, but for the first 10 days of April they're being shown together in the McKean-Eilers Building, 323 Congress. Although it removes the art from the area that inspired it, "Drawing Lines: Explorations of Place" allows visitors from all over Austin to experience in one location the range of its creative representatives – chef Sonya Coté, hip-hop poet/theatre artist Zell Miller III, musician/composer Adrian Quesada of Grupo Fantasma/Brownout/Spanish Gold, video/film documentarian Deb Esquenazi, muralist Josef Kristofoletti, et al..."

BAM! Performing Arts Festival: What's that sound?
Pro Arts Collective gets your attention with BAM!, a new performing arts festival bringing dancers, actors, poets, and musicians to Austin to display the surge of creativity among African-American artists
Arts Story  September 22, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...Its debut year features hip-hop poets and brothers in arts Carlton and Maurice Turner, aka M.U.G.A.B.E.E.; an acclaimed production of Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/UnderdogÊfrom Phoenix's iTheatre Collaborative; and the inspired dance troupe Robert Moses' Kin. And performing side by side with them are some of our own leading lights, such as the unstoppable wordsmith/whirlwind Zell Miller III..."

The Evidence of Silence Broken
In his impressive solo show, 'The Evidence of Silence Broken,' spoken word performer Zell Miller III wears his heart, his mind, and his very soul on his sleeve
Arts Review  September 16, 2005, by Barry Pineo
"...The kind that you imagine young black men spraypainting in the dead of night while pulling on lager or smoking crack. That sounds like a racist statement because it is, and when this latest Hyde Park Theatre production begins, you see that stereotype enter in the person of Zell Miller III, a young black man carrying a boombox blaring hip-hop music, a look on his face that says, "Fuck with me, and I'll put a cap in your ass."..."

Strange Visitor From Another Planet
Hip-hop poet Zell Miller III is special, one of those people who radiate energy like the brightest of stars breaking through clouds on the darkest of nights
Arts Story  May 27, 2005, by Barry Pineo
"...If you ever get a chance to talk with Zell Miller III, you should. He's special, one of those people who radiate energy like the brightest of stars breaking through clouds on the darkest of nights..."

Robert Faires' Top 10 (+1) Theatre Riches of 2016
Works that struck a nerve with the political state of our city and our nation stood out in this year's outstanding theatre productions
Arts Story  December 29, 2016, by Robert Faires
"...1) ZELL MILLER III In a year when extraordinary tensions made America's political landscape a battleground, no local theatre artist took to the front lines as often or urgently as Zell Miller III. In show after show, this writer/performer/director gave searing critiques of social injustice in blazing language and a hip-hop beat that matched his impassioned heart's..."

B-boy bluez
Zell Miller III makes the four corners of hip-hop come together in the theatre
Arts Review  August 27, 2010, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...B-boy bluez deserves a bigger audience. Fewer than two dozen people were there to enjoy themselves on opening night, and that doesn't seem like enough for what Zell Miller III is doing...."

Kissing the Goodbye
Dying and the worth of individual lives are treated with a refreshing and uplifting respect in Zell Miller III's family drama 'Kissing the Goodbye'
Arts Review  March 31, 2006, by Barry Pineo
"...Few subjects are closer to our fragile human lives than the subject of death, but so often nowadays, in even the most sophisticated of entertainments, death is treated as a game, individual human lives as unimportant and disposable. So it's refreshing and uplifting to see this Zell Miller III family production presented by ProArts Collective..."

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf
The classic choreopoem becomes a tight ensemble piece in seven-part harmony
Arts Review  September 9, 2011, by Jillian Owens
"...These are the opening chords of Ntozake Shange's seminal 1975 African-American feminist choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, directed for UpRise! Productions by Austin hip-hop theatre innovator Zell Miller III. Like a soloist improvising variations on a melody, Miller has transposed the sequence of poems – most of them written to be performed by a single actor – into a tight ensemble piece in a seven-part harmony (although badass Ebony Stewart as the Lady in Red and effervescent Chandra Washington as the Lady in Blue give standout performances)..."

Radio Silence: a word opera
Zell Miller III's hip-hop opera is fascinating when it isn't flying by so quickly
Arts Review  August 29, 2008, by Barry Pineo
"...Zell Miller III is many things: hip-hop performance artist, sometime slam poet, and, as with this show from Vortex Repertory Company and UpRise! Productions, author and director...."

Showing Black Lives Matter
Facing race then and now onstage in Pretty Fire and Hands Up Hoodies Down
Arts Story  March 12, 2015, by Robert Faires
"...Hands Up Hoodies Down is, as its title makes clear, an immediate and urgent response to current events. Hip-hop theatre artist/poet/educator/mentor Zell Miller III, who has been speaking out about race and justice and humanity on local stages for two decades now, conceived this "protest song sung in the key of high octane spoken word stanzas exploding through tears and heartache." As well as co-writing it with Chelsea Manasseri, Miller is staging it and performs in it, along with Manasseri, Kann, Da'Shade Moonbeam, T-Fly, Ashé Arts Collective, and Sadé Jones, who also provides choreography..."

Cream of the Crop
Nominations for the 2005-2006 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  May 19, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...Babs George, Richard III..."

A Raisin in the Sun
UpRise! Productions' revival of this trailblazing drama layers movement onto the script in distracting ways
Arts Review  August 16, 2013, by Adam Roberts
"...A Raisin in the Sun is canonical dramatic literature. Lorraine Hansberry's story of an impoverished black family in 1950s Chicago placed its indelible stamp on the history of American theatre in trailblazing fashion, making Hansberry the first black woman playwright on Broadway and Lloyd Richards, who staged the original production, the first black director on the traditionally "Great White Way." So when I heard that Zell Miller III's company, UpRise! Productions, would be mounting the work under acclaimed director Laurie Carlos, I set aside an evening far in advance to attend...."

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