Robert Neal—actor and professor

Robert Neal looks over the Queen Anne monologue from "Richard III" during the Speech for the Stage course that he teaches at UIndy. (James Figy)

Robert Neal looks over the Queen Anne monologue from “Richard III” during the Speech for the Stage course that he teaches at UIndy. (James Figy)

Robert Neal is a tall mountain of a man with booming voice and intense eyes. The first time that I saw Robert, he had a big black beard, long coat and overlarge pirate hat. He was playing Orsino in the strangest production of “Twelfth Night” that I’ve ever seen. (So, I guess, the weirder of two productions.) At the time, the IRT was doing some 60-minute Shakespeare plays for high school kids, and they decided to spice this one up by playing off the Pirates of the Caribbean. But that was nearly 10 years ago.

More recently, I saw him in the IRT’s production of “Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Who am I this Time? (and other conundrums of love).'” It was amazing. I recognized him from “Twelfth Night”—and I believe another play in between, though I don’t remember what it was—even though he looked completely different.

However, I was even more amazed when I found out that he has been teaching at the University of Indianapolis as an adjunct for quite some time. This guy has acted in 30 plays over the past 13 seasons at the IRT, not including his other appearances. I was even more amazed, when I sat down to interview him, that he was an English major during his undergraduate career. When I asked him about he told me:

I ended up majoring in English because I always had this love of reading and language and that kind of thing. I found out what I really loved and what was great about that was it taught me the power of sound and meaning together. Then when I ended up in acting, it really coalesced for me in that I loved language, but I love the sound of language, too. So I was using both things.

You can read the full article in The Reflector here.

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