Claude McNeal

Claude McNeal is the Founder and former Artistic Director of the American Cabaret Theatre in Indianapolis (1990-2005). McNeal has written, directed, and produced plays throughout the U.S. and Europe for more than 30 years, including New York City, New Haven, CT, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Tampa, Branson, Glacier Park, Montana, Toronto, Boston, Seattle, and more. A graduate of Yale Drama School and an acknowledged master in the field of contemporary cabaret, his work as a playwright has been recognized by awards from the Dramatists Guild, Authors League of America, and Rockefeller Foundation.

In addition to his works in cabaret theatre, McNeal’s full-length plays include Felix, produced off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre; San Francisco Saturday Night, presented in London and at Lincoln Center with Stacy Keach and Trish Van Der Veer; Come to the Station, presented in London and New York with John Ratzenberger (Cliff on Cheers, and I Am of Ireland, produced at Carnegie Hall with Peter O’Toole and Siobahn McKenna. McNeal’s Decades ran for two seasons off-Broadway and traveled throughout the country. He has written lyrics for more than 60 songs and will soon publish a book of poetry called Sensual Excuses. He is also the author of The Making of a Grand Hotel and The New Theatre of Conscience (with L.E. McCullough).

McNeal has also initiated theatre programs at the University of New Haven, and Sacred Heart University, where he founded the Humanities Theatre Group in 1986, and a summer theatre training program at Glacier National Park, Montana. He has been a tenured Professor in the English and Music Departments (now retired) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where he taught creative writing and musical interpretation. McNeal is also head of a highly successful collaboration with the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa, Florida, (which began in 1995) where his productions can be seen almost year round.

McNeal recently formed Claude McNeal Productions, a non-profit entity which consults in artistic programming and organizational strengthening. Also, his three-part educational program, which were developed over the 1970’s, ‘80s and continued at the American Cabaret Theatre from 1990 to 2005, are now housed under Claude McNeal Productions.