The inimitable K. Brian Neel has been amazing audiences around the globe for over twenty years. From his dynamic, highly physical performance style to his award-winning directing and published writing, Brian is sure to captivate and inspire.
Brian has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington with a minor in Theater Arts from the University of New Mexico. These days, Brian lives the dream as a professional theater artist -- performing, writing, directing, and teaching.
For nine years Brian directed and performed with KINGS' ELEPHANT THEATRE, America's premiere experimental improvisational ensemble. He became Artistic Foreman of the SEATTLE MIME THEATRE -- an internationally renowned touring company stretching the possibilities of mime. Currently he is an ensemble member of MAGIC CIRCLE MIME, regarded as one of today's premier family attractions, uniting the concert orchestra with visual theater.
Recently Brian played a playfully demented and sometimes searing Soviet general in the world premiere of I Never Betrayed the Revolution at West of Lenin in Seattle. For two years, Brian has been creating and performing fun and interactive theatrical components to Carnegie Hall educational concerts called Link Up, performed at Seattle Symphony. Brian received a Footlight Award from the Seattle Times, along with Aimee Bruneau, for playing Orson and Damian and Birch in the world premiere of the internationally-renowned 99 Layoffs by Vincent Delany, which performed a sold-out run at ACT Theatre in Seattle. He was singing and dancing the lead male and lead mouse in the new science fiction musical by Scotto Moore, A Mouse Who Knows Me, at Annex Theatre in Seattle. He played the classy and mysterious alien Discrete Moment in the science fiction web series The Coffee Table, the character of Noise in Music, Noise, and Silence for Magic Circle Mime, the very old and briefly young ring master Singore Zoopa at Teatro ZinZanni, several dead characters in Book-It Repertory Theater's SAAR Cemetary Project, the dubious yet sincere lawyer Dragoslav Ognjanovic in the Paradise Theater's documentary theater The Milosevics, and many various smaller projects. Before all that he was in Book-It Repertory Theater's productions of The River Why, and The Prince of the Pond, Trickster Tales, and The Stinky Cheese Man for Book-It All Over. He did some suffragette street theater with Live Girls Theater. He collaborated (a.k.a.: was cheerleader, dancer, parachute-skirted sailor, bleeder, Queen uke-player, Tesla-magician, co-writer and more) with the performance art ensemble Helsinki Syndrome in several shows including The Main Event and My Body Lies Over the Ocean at On The Boards' Northwest New Works Festival, I Feel Fine at Annex Theater, and True North at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York City. In 2005, Brian acted in the Tony Award winning Intiman Theatre's production of Chekhov's The Three Sisters, directed by the Tony Award winning Bartlett Sher. He originated the role of Hamster in the world premiere of the musical Emperor Incorporated at Children's Theatre Company of Sioux Falls. He played Oscar Wilde in Left Coast Theatre's run of the award winning musical Vera Wilde, and fifteen characters in the world-premiere of John Moe's rock musical The Big Time at the 2004 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Here are some past shows of note Brian remembers off the top of his head. . .
The Happy Ones at Seattle Public Theater
Noises Off at the Village Theatre
Acting in several 14/48 Festivals
The Snow Queen with theater simple
Eternal Vaudeville at The Moore
Waiting for Lefty and Waiting for Godot with One World Theatre
The Maids at Theatre Babylon
several episodes of The Twilight Zone Live on Stage at Theater Schmeater
Brian has been directed by many distinguished directors, including: David Gassner, Bartlett Sher, Shawn Belyea, Rachael Katz Carey, Jennifer Jasper, Andy Jensen, Kevin Kent, Scott Koh, John Longenbaugh, Patricia Grace Miles, Tom Miller, Scott Nolte, Jeff Page, James Pargulski, Rebecca Shoenfeld, Terry Simpson, Matt Sweeney, M. Burke Walker, Daniel Wilson, Bruce Wylie, Joe Zavadil, Nancy Halverson, Kibby MacKinnon, Rebecca Shoenfeld, Benjamin Lamb, Annie Lareau, Meghan Arnette, and Myra Platt.
He's performed with many theater companies, including: INTIMAN Theatre, On The Boards, A Contemporary Theatre (ACT), Empty Space Theatre, Consolidated Works, Seattle Theatre Group (The Moore), New City Theater, Book-It Repertory Theatre, One World Theatre, Annex Theater, ReBar, AHA! Theatre, Seattle Public Theater, Theater Babylon, Theater Schmeater, theater simple, Unexpected Productions, Village Theater, Warehouse Theater (D.C.), Left Coast Theatre, South Dakota Children's Theatre, Ontological Hysteric (NYC), Reston Arts Center, Lied Center (Kansas), and many more.
Brian is represented by Topo Swope Talent. He has performed in commercials and industrials for the Seattle International Film Festival, Les Schwab, Premera Blue Cross, Car Toys, Tulalip Casino, Quest, Microsoft, Wizards of the Coast, Committee for Children, ESPN, Group Health, University of Phoenix and more. He played Fran in the feature film A Bit of Bad Luck, Discrete Moment in the science-fiction web series The Coffee Table by Scotto Moore, Frank the Accountant in the web series The Theater, and the gay dad in the independent film Re-enactors. Brian squints to remember being in an HBO episode of Real Sex, playing Kiko on the short lived sit com Love, Laverne, and acting in many independent films including The Search, Dream, and Carnival.
The Death of Brian: A Zombie Odyssey and The Death of Brian: Ides of Undead March written and performed by Ricky Coates, produced by theater simple. An epic blood-fest that embraces the reveled tropes, yet the concept is completely unique.
Teatro Minestrone's Around the World in 8 Stories by Brendan Healy for The 14/48 Projects. A wonderful Washington State parks show.
I Am the Girl with the Spun Gold Hair by Jenny Lane for Live Girls! Theater's Quickies Festival in 2013. A post-apocalypse tale of simulacrum dependency. He needs her to forage for his batteries. She needs him to charge herself from.
The Death of Brian by Ricky Coates. An incredibly bloody zombie solo show touring fringe fests in 2013. Truly stunning audio design by Dan Yost.
North Star Vaud by Neel & The Ensemble North Seattle College in 2013. The last show in the theater department at NSCC, an ole-timey/new-timey variety show.
The Lorax and The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss for Book-It Repertory Theatre in 2012, which played all over Washington State, and was the theater's biggest selling eductional program in their history.
Bang Bang Choo Choo Train by Elizabeth Heffron for Live Girls! Theater's Quickies Festival in 2012. A sadly funny piece about a disturbed cheerleader-mom and her responsible-before-her-time young daughter.
Luisa Miller by Verdi for Puget Sound Opera in 2010, which played in Bellevue, Everett, and Bremerton, Washington, in rep with La Sonnambula. Dual cast, full orchestra. Zowie.
Evenings With Carlotta, performed by the improvisational character genius Troy Mink at the Annex Theater in 2010. A truly hysterical and heart-breaking solo performance, complete with Rice Krispy Treats baked and served. Yum.
An Oak Tree by Tim Crouch at Theater Schmeater in 2009. A play with two actors, only one of whom has read the script. (Different actor every performance!)
The Education of Macoloco by the extraordinarily talented up and coming playwright Jen Silverman. Performed in Live Girls! Theatre's Quickies Festival of new plays in 2009, starring Shawnmarie Stanton, Trick Danneker, and Jason Harber.
Kentucky Ghosts, adapted by K. Brian Neel and Troy Mink in 2004. Culled from authentic stories collected by cultural anthropologist William Lynwood Montell. A standing-room only thriller, staged in the round with a cast of seven and live blue grass band.
Trailer Tales, an ensemble generated, outdoor performance piece for theater simple, 2005-2006, about quirky family reunion taking place inside an antique Airstream trailer. Performed in festivals and parks in Northwest Washington state, as well as on tour in Australia. Included roasting Peeps on a fire and mellon balls! Yum.
Unhinged & Low Flying by Mark Boeker for Shoogie Shoog Productions, 2002-2003.
Solo performance about the blinkered pathos of the contemporary male psyche. Performed at the Seattle Fringe Festival and Consolidated Works.
The Erotica Project by Lillian Ann Slugocki & Erin Cressida Wilson for Left Coast Theater, 2001. West coast premiere, direct from the Public Theatre in New York. A theater event performed cabaret-style in Seattle, Washington. Sold out every show of the run, and extended for months.
Third Day's Child by John Kaufman for Left Coast Theater, which performed at the now defunct Seattle Fringe Festival. It's now a short film by the brilliant S.J. Chiro.
52 Pick Up by Rita Bozi & T.J. Dawe for theater simple, 2001-present. U.S premiere of one-act play about a failed relationship. Each scene is written on a deck of cards and performed at random. Accepted to the prestigious Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, performed in Perth and Adelaide, Australia in 2002, and Singapore in 2004. Still continues to play around the globe.
Living With Betty by Heather Benton for Ursa Major, 2000. A premiere solo play about a compulsive liar teaching at an Arizona air force base. Co-directed with John Longenbaugh. Full run performed at the now burned-to-the-ground Speakeasy, Seattle.
Pieces Of The First, adapted by K. Brian Neel for the Seattle Mime Theatre, 2000.
Nine free-speech court cases put to the stage performance-art style, at the Chamber Theater in Seattle. Selected for class curriculum at the University of Washington Law School. Received Garland Award for Best Direction and Best Ensemble Cast.
Brian's play about the coming of the Singularity, iI, was part of SOAP Fest 2013. Inspired by Moby Dick and set in a US Census call center, Brian co-wrote Or, The Whale with Brendan Healy for Pony World Theater in 2013. Previously with Pony World he wrote an adaptation of The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus in 2010. He has written many plays for 14/48, the world's quickest theater festival, including some co-written with Paul Ship. He also collaborated with Mr. Ship on The Devil's Mile which was workshopped at A Contemporary Theatre in 2003 as part of the FringeACT Festival of new work. Brian has also written three screenplays One Night Fall, Double Climax, andBelly Talk.
In 2003 Brian received the Seattle Fringe Alumni Award (The Kibby) to adapt and perform the contemporary novel about the Russian Cold War space program, Omon Ra, by Victor Pelevin. Wait, this should be in the Solo Performance section of this web page. Oh well.
Click on the plays button to read Brian's plays. Do it now!
Brian has studied with these folks and many more . . .
Del Close of the COMPASS PLAYERS and SECOND CITY
Byrne Piven of NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
Sheldon Patinkin of COLUMBIA COLLEGE
Donna Blue Lachman of the BLUE RIDER THEATRE
Amy Legendre of VELOCITY DANCE
Beverly Mann of IMAGO THEATRE
Richard Henzel's MASK THEATRE
Brian loves teaching improvisation, acting, playwriting, story theatre, stage combat, and EXTREME THEATER! for all ages -- from kindergarden through high school to college master class to adult continuing education. He's also taught to youth at risk, including detention centers and drug rehabilitation facilities. More specifics can be viewed by clicking the workshops button.
Brian has also been seen around town and on television as Cecil B. DeUkulele, playing his original traveling songs. He is a member of the Tumbling Tumbo Brothers. Oh, and he built a house.
Brian has created six full-length solo shows which have toured the world and won awards and been invited to hoity-toity festivals. Click on the solo shows button to get info on them. (Surely you must have noticed that button on the upper left hand side of your screen before reading all the way down this page. Thanks for pursuing perusment though.) He also performs once a year, every Good Friday, Jesus Christ Ukulele Star.