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12107190_1711481592455023_2621818947426341471_n-3-2Shua Miller is a candidate for an MFA from the Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop at the University of Central Arkansas and an actor, director, writer, producer, designer, carpenter, all around tech guy at The Lantern Theatre in Conway, AR. He also has a BA in Theatre from UCA, which he used to manage some restaurants. His short play “Homeland Security…In My Pants” premiered on April 30, 2016, at Low Key Arts in Hot Springs, Arkansas as part of the Arts & The Park Festival. He is currently working on a full-length play for his thesis and directing a grisly play for The Lantern. Shua Miller enjoys writing about himself in the third person.

Rachel Hoge: Hi Shua, thanks so much for agreeing to share your thoughts on our MFA program. In addition to writing, you have several other artistic interests—such as acting, directing, and more. How has the Arkansas Writers Program impacted your many creative goals?

Shua Miller: The Arkansas Writers Program has made me a better storyteller

  • which makes me a better playwright
  • which makes me a better director
  • which is why you should all come see BUG at The Lantern Theatre (1021 Van Ronkle) Oct. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 @8, $5 at the door for students 

RH: What originally drew you to the Arkansas Writers Program? Was there something unique about our program that suited you specifically?

SM: I got a job at UCA in the office of the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, + I wanted to be a better storyteller and to learn how to make money doing something related to stroytelling, + UCA has the Arkansas Writers Program. 

RH: How has the faculty of our MFA program helped you prepare for the future?

SM: The faculty have given me a great set of tools and shown me how to use them. They are talented caring, knowledgable, and inspiring. Thanks to them, I know how to:

  • Write
  • Teach others to write
  • Get a job writing or teaching
  • Get published
  • Start my own publishing company
  • Live an artistic life, no matter what I do

Also, the faculty of the Arkansas Writers Program has made me a better storyteller

  • which makes me a better playwright
  • which makes me a better director
  • which is why you should all come see BUG at The Lantern Theatre (1021 Van Ronkle) Oct. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 @8, $5 at the door for students

RH: In what ways has our MFA program transformed you as a writer, artist, or professional?

SM: Dang it, I used up all my profound statements in my earlier answers (blew my wad of profundity, if you will). Um, I developed a taste for creative nonfiction and there is more gray in my hair.

Also, I am better at interviews

  • which makes me a better playwright
  • which makes me a better director
  • which is why you should all come see BUG at The Lantern Theatre (1021 Van Ronkle) Oct. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 @8, $5 at the door for students

RH: In your opinion, is the Central Arkansas area an artistic and creative environment? How might an MFA candidate at our program become locally involved in the arts?

SM: As someone actively trying to add to the artistic and creative environment, I’m a little biased on this one. Yes! The Central Arkansas area is full of artists. To get locally involved, just jump on Facebook and search for whatever kind of art you want to make. *

RH: Why would you recommend the Arkansas Writers Program to an MFA applicant?

SM: Because it teaches. It teaches you pedagogy and theory and how to teach. It teaches you forms and genres and how to ignore forms and genres. It teaches you skills and how to hone those skills. It teaches you the power of words and the responsibility you have now that you know. The Arkansas Writers Program makes you a shaper of the world. ** 

* “sock puppet finger painting in central Arkansas”

** I was going to put an evil laugh right here, but I’m serious.

*** “Emoji Manifesto” is a joke I could not work in to this interview.


Stop by next Friday to meet another graduate student from the Arkansas Writers Program. 

 

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