Neal Utterback Defends Dissertation: “Stagehands: Gestures and the Embodied Actor”

Dr. Neal Utterback

Dr. Neal Utterback

Many congratulations to Dr. Neal Allen Utterback who today earned his Ph.D. from the Indiana University Department of Theatre & Drama upon defending his dissertation titled “Stagehands: Gestures and the Embodied Actor,” an exploration of how cognitive science can explains actors’ use of gestures to memorize lines, disambiguate language, and expand meaning.

Before coming to IU, Neal received his B.A. in Theatre from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, and his M.F.A. in acting from University of Florida in Gainesville. A playwright and theatre-maker, Neal’s play second is published in NYTE’s Plays and Playwrights 2005. His newest play, American Western, has been invited to premiere at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in 2013 where Neal was previously nominated for both Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Writing for his 2009 adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture (of Dorian Gray).

In 2012, Neal accepted a tenure-track position at Juniata College in Huntington, Pennsylvania where he serves as Associate Professor of Theatre.