Mr. Hillman graduated from St. Mark's School in 1976 Bates College with a degree in Theater and Rhetoric in 1980. His senior thesis covered his progress through three productions exploring the Stanislavski System concepts and their dissemination through American Theater. First hired as a one year Teaching Fellow at prestigious Phillips Andover Academy, he went on to teach four years at Andover, finally appointed as a Full Instructor and Director of Student Production. Emmy award winning puppeteer Brian Henson worked with Tim in the Black Box at Andover. Hillman's Senior Assistant was Rob Long- Emmy nominated screenwriter and producer for Cheers and a now a prominent and provocative political voice.
In 1984, Hillman moved to Los Angeles and The Buckley School where, at 26, he became Director of Theater. The first production there, a high school Our Town, starred Melissa Rivers, Matt Perry, Memento producer Jennifer Todd, withoutabox.com founder David Strauss, and Vanessa Marshall. In his seven years at Buckley, Hillman worked with a remarkable group of young actors, many of whom have gone on to mainstream success in the entertainment world, particularly Lisa Capps of the Broadway theater world- the only woman to have performed each of three three female lead roles in Les Miserables on Broadway. Lisa also starred alonside starred alongside Lea Salonga in Miss Saigon. Sara Gilbert of Roseanne fame and Executive Producer of CBS Television's The Talk worked with Hillman for years while she continued to perform on Roseanne.
While living in Hollywood, Tim was introduced to performance improvisation, and he performed Saturday nights in an accomplished LA Connection that included that included TV host Mark DeCarlo, actor David Pressman, and Matt Perry. Having grown tired of the simple set pieces of the short-form world, Hillman formed the short-lived long form improvisation group "Unexpected Company". Filled with actors from The Groundlings, Hillman worked with young actors destined to make a mark on the entertainment industry, most notably Lisa Kudrow and Conan O'Brien.
In 1991, Hillman took his talents and desire to find a reliable system that worked for young actors to St. Andrew's-Sewanee School in Tennessee, where he labored to bring together the theoretical work of Stanislavski, Sanford Meisner, and Del Close into a cohesive yet simple to understand methodology that focused on developing young actors into sane, prepared performers. Whitney Able, co-star of the recent film Monsters, Jill Burfete, a prominent Chicago improv actress, and others from SAS went on to professional careers at a rate of about one a year.
In 2002 Hillman he met a recent college graduate, Justin James Lang, and they went on to reform Unexpected Company where Hillman was the Founding Artistic Director. Immediately recognized for ground breaking work, the members directed by Hillman for a year jumpstarted the improvisational scene in Rhode Island and went on to perform at improv festivals around the country. Today, UC alumni perform with Upright Citizens Brigade, Improv Olympic, Trinity Square Repertory Theatre, Improv Jones and at theaters around the New York Boston corridor.
Currently, Hillman is developing simplyacting.net, an online education process for actors, musical performers, comedy troupes- using direct video connection for effective training in both conceptual and practical acting technique.