February 22, 2012
Dear Students, Faculty and
Many of you have asked me to address our
recent decision to cancel the
workshop/performance by Tim Miller. While it was
difficult and complex, I stand by this decision.
I want to be clear that this had nothing to do
with Mr. Miller’s sexual orientation,
believe it is
untrue that Villanova is a homophobic community.
Such a description concerns me far more than a
The decision not to host Mr. Miller came after
viewing his performance work and the manner in
which he conveys his messages. The
interpretation of art is open to debate. All art
should provoke a response. As a theatre
director, I have faced the issue of how to evoke
such a response in a way that I deem
appropriate for myself, my actors and audiences.
There are always issues around language,
content and production elements that need to be
addressed. These choices are important in creating
As an artist and a priest, I find the choices
that Mr. Miller makes to be disturbing. While some may disagree,
as president of Villanova University I can
assure you it is the
explicit, graphic and sexual content of his
performances that led to this decision—a
decision that in no way was affected by issues of sexual
As a Catholic community we uphold and must
maintain the Church’s teaching that all people
are accepted with respect, compassion and
sensitivity. Love of neighbor—of all neighbors—is a Gospel mandate we protect. Villanova is and
always will be an inclusive community.
Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.