Since 1995, Mr. Neale has been Co-Artistic Director of Nomad Theatrical Company with Hillary Spector. For three years, along with company Dramaturge Karen Lee Ott, Nomad produced a monthly play reading series at The Black Door Theatre in Chelsea. Mr. Neale directed most of the celebrated public readings which generated a remarkable 35 new plays . He has also directed and designed many of Nomad's full productions including August Strindberg's MISS JULIE, Shakespeare's RICHARD III, THE TWO CHARACTER PLAY by Tennessee Williams, and Vaclav Havel's REDEVELOPMENT. In addition to his work with Nomad, Grant has had the pleasure of directing such works as, THE RECRUITING OFFICER by George Farquhar for New York Classical Theater, SUBWAY SYMPHONIES by Walter Whitehead at HERE, Noel Coward's FUMED OAK at Brown Ledge Camp (VT), and TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare for Commonweal Theater Company (MN). Grant was a participant in the 2007 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.
Several beliefs guide his directing style: that it is the object of art to bring the working of the unconscious mind to the level of the conscious; people are fascinated by physical prowess; there is no absolute right way to present a play; it is the theatre artists' task to help rivet the attention of the audience to the action of the play; the connection between the characters of the drama is of paramount importance; there is nothing inherently interesting about seeing a winner win or a loser lose; all production elements should seek to entertain the audience and illuminate the meanings of the play; the rehearsal process should be designed to address the needs of the given play, and that variations in emotional, physical and vocal dynamics are the most effective tools for entertaining an audience.
Grant best describes his directorial aesthetic as constructionist fantasy. The constructionist element relates the characters to the scenic elements of the production so that, during the course of the play, the set is completely transformed by the hands of the actors. In his production of Richard III, Grant collaborated with seven fine artists to create 19 painted images on six large wooden panels which began each production completely concealed. Throughout the course of the play the actors revealed the panels, one by one, ever transforming the space. Throughout the course of the play, the actors revealed the panels one by one, ever transforming the active space. He also utilizes this idea of metamorphosis in relation to the costumes and sound.
For each production he and the cast create a physical vocabulary inspired by the play. Together they build movement motifs which illuminate thematic elements of the play and help establish the world of the play as a truly unique construct. In the above mentioned production of RICHARD III, he and the cast developed a working vocabulary, deemed "contact without contact," allowing the characters to touch each other from any distance. This caused the world of Shakespeare's play to have an alternate mode of operation and offered the actors great opportunities for symbolic expression. This kind of physical work also presents the audience with a world full of surprises and enhances their interest in and understanding of the story.
"...It was a joy to see it come alive upon the stage under the direction of Grant Neale."
River Valley Reader , Twelfth Night