JACK NEARY is a playwright, theatre producer, director, actor and teacher. He’s based in the Boston area, and is former Artistic Director of the Summer Theatre at Mount Holyoke College. He was previously Artistic Director of Northampton’s New Century Theatre, which he co-founded in 1991 at Smith College.
Mr. Neary’s plays have been produced all over the United States and in Canada, Europe and South Africa. His romantic comedy FIRST NIGHT was produced at the Westside Theatre in New York, and also ran for five months at the Theatre Lobby in Boston. It is published by Baker’s Plays/Samuel French. TO FORGIVE, DIVINE, which debuted professionally at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre and is published by Dramatists Play Service, has been produced elsewhere around the country, and has been purchased for film by Walt Disney Pictures. JERRY FINNEGAN’S SISTER, published by the Dramatic Publishing Company, has played in various United States theatres and in Paris, and has successfully launched three theatre companies. Mr. Neary is a two-time recipient of the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, and his full-length plays, PRECIOUS DAYS, NIGHT OF THE BULLY, and THE BIG APPLE premiered at New Century Theatre. His latest produced plays are an adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN, presented by the Summer Theatre at Mount Holyoke College, and at the Pridemore Theatre, Radford University in Virginia; the full-length version of FIVE NICKELS (Dramatic Publishing Company); THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, an adaptation of the Poe classic, (Baker’s Plays/Samuel French); an adaptation of Henry James’ THE TURN OF THE SCREW; and THE PORCH , produced with great success by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston in 2003 (as BEYOND BELIEF), and at CityStage in Springfield in 2004. A brand new farce, KONG’S NIGHT OUT, was presented in May and June, 2006 at the Lyric Stage in Boston, in June, 2007 at New Century Theatre, and was a finalist for the 2005 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Julie Harris Playwriting award. KONG’S NIGHT OUT was also produced by the Meadow Brook Theatre in Michigan in 2009, featuring TV's Cindy Williams and Eddie Mekka. His play TRUST was commissioned by Radford College was produced at the Pridemore Theatre in December, 2007. THE PORCH was produced in May, 2008 at the Stoneham Theatre and in September and October of 2009 at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, MA. He has had three adaptations of classic children’s stories published: ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP (Baker’s Plays/Samuel French) THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL (Baker’s Plays/Samuel French), THE UGLY DUCKLING (Eldridge Publishing) and ROBIN HOOD (2002, SelectPlays.com). LUNCH MONEY, a one-act play for middle schoolers, won a City of Boston Dramatic Developments playwriting award in 2005.
His series of plays for Young Audiences, “THE MISDIRECTED THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS” ROBIN HOOD, THE UGLY DUCKLING, SNOW WHITE and RUMPLESTILTSKIN all premiered at the Foothills Theatre in Worcester, Massachusetts and are now being produced around the countr, most notably by Boston's Makeshift Theatre and Winchester, Virginia's Little Theatre. His screenplay STUNNER was optioned by Hobel Productions (TENDER MERCIES), and another screenplay, THE PENANCE, was optioned by Nelle Nugent’s Foxboro Company. His 2006 story, THE BOSS, featured in the St. Anthony Messenger, was awarded First Place in the short story category by the Catholic Press Association.
He has directed nearly 100 productions in theatres around New England, including the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, the Lyric Stage, the Stoneham Theatre, the Chiswick Park Theatre, the Worcester Foothills Theatre, the Theatre of Newburyport, Bradford College, the University of Massachusetts, New Century Theatre, and at the Summer Theatre at Mount Holyoke College, where he served as Associate Producer and then Producer from 1979 through 1985, as Artistic Director in 1988, and Artistic Director again in 1998-99. Among the plays he’s directed are THE PORCH, JERRY & ED, THIS WONDERFUL LIFE, PROOF, HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES, DEATHTRAP, THE HEIRESS, AGNES OF GOD, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, THE PAJAMA GAME, OH, COWARD!, BILOXI BLUES, DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER, ANYTHING GOES, BYE BYE BIRDIE, GUYS AND DOLLS, GOOD NEWS, AN INSPECTOR CALLS, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, SLEUTH, THE CEMETERY CLUB, SEE HOW THEY RUN, LIGHT UP THE SKY, TEN LITTLE INDIANS, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, DIAL M FOR MURDER, DEATHTRAP, THE UNDERPANTS, his own adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, LEND ME A TENOR, and his play BEYOND BELIEF (Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 2003; CityStage/New Century, Springfield, MA, 2004), the original musical DOLL, and many more of his own plays and adaptations, including FRANKENSTEIN, THE TURN OF THE SCREW and THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. As an actor, he’s appeared as both Oscar and Felix in THE ODD COUPLE, as Bernie Dodd in THE COUNTRY GIRL, as Pseudolus in FORUM, as Danny Fleming in FIRST NIGHT, as various characters in his own NUTSHELLS, as Clarence in the musical A WONDERFUL LIFE, as Amos in CHICAGO, Maurice in DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and in at least fifty other shows. Mr. Neary also plays Professor Plum in “VCR CLUE” and “CLUE II, MURDER IN DISGUISE.” He has appeared on network television in SPENSER: FOR HIRE and, more recently, LAW AND ORDER and Showtime’s BROTHERHOOD. He will also appear in Ben Affleck's 2010 film, THE TOWN.