The Indiana Repertory Theatre celebrates longtime actor and Indianapolis local, Robert Neal, on being named a 2017 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow. Each year, the Ten Chimneys Foundation brings together just ten of the nation's top regional theatre actors to work with a world-renowned Master Teacher. The fellowship is considered one of the country’s most prestigious opportunities awarded to veteran artists.
Neal, alongside his peers, will travel to the national historic landmark and estate of theatre legends Alfred Lunt & Lynn Fontanne, where accomplished actor Alfred Molina has been selected as this year’s Master Teacher. From July 9 through 16, Molina will lead intensive master classes that focus on developing ways to refresh character work through text analysis and typecasting.
This ground-breaking national fellowship provides artists with an opportunity to grow artistically, renew their passion and return to their home communities more encouraged and inspiring as mentors, teachers and leaders.
"I am very humbled to be selected for the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship program. It is a great honor to be among the actors selected this year as well as those who have been chosen in the past,” said Neal.
Neal also shares his gratitude to IRT Executive Artistic Director, Janet Allen, for nominating him on behalf of the theatre. “Because of her commitment to community, I have been able to realize my goal of being a working actor while also raising a family in the Indianapolis area,” he added.
“He lives the commitment he’s made to place, finding ways to stretch himself through directing and acting, all while staying close to home,” said Allen. “We at Indiana Repertory Theatre, artists and audiences alike, can’t imagine our world without his consistently inspired performances and are so proud of his inclusion in the 2017 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows class!”
Neal is the third Lunt-Fontanne Fellow to represent the IRT, following David Alan Anderson (2013) and Constance Macy (2014).
Neal celebrates his 17th season with the IRT, where he has performed in more than 40 productions. He is a company member of Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre, where last summer he directed The Winter’s Tale. Other local theatres include ShadowApe, the Phoenix Theatre, and Cardinal Stage; he has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Early Music Festival. In 2012 he reprised his role as James Beard in James Still’s I Love to Eat for the James Beard Foundation Awards at Lincoln Center in New York City. Regional theatre credits include Syracuse Stage, the Blackstone Theatre, the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, Pennsylvania Center Stage, the Oklahoma and Kentucky Shakespeare festivals, and the Brown County Playhouse, as well as the English American Theatre Festival in Dusseldorf, Germany. Television credits include NBC’s Chicago Fire. Robert’s training is from Penn State (M.F.A.) and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He is a recipient of the 2007 Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship Grant and the 2016 Theatre MVP Grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
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