It’s a basic cycle of theater life here: Dozens of young North Texas artists leave for LA or New York every year.
But Cedric Neal is a member of the Dallas Theater Center’s new Brierley Resident Acting Company, which was created, in part, to help stem the constant tide of departing talent. Artistic director Kevin Moriarty showcased Neal’s singing talents in two of his most popular, defining shows, The Who’s Tommy (in which Neal played the lead) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which Neal played Puck — a role that saw his face all over busboards and print ads as the DTC touted its splashy, grafitti-and-confetti-filled opening show at the new Wyly Theatre. He also has appeared in Texas TV productions, including Friday Night Lights, as well as in Theatre 3’s revival of Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars. He even got New York Times attention for his “irrepressibly reptilian” Sportin’ Life in an Austin production of Porgy and Bess.
All in all, an impressive two years’ worth of work by any local actor.
The Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet music graduate says he will return to Dallas — he’s been cast as the Tin Man in the DTC’s production of The Wiz in July — and hopes to continue his three-show-a-season commitment to the DTC, which he calls “my home.’ But moving to New York City in early January is definitely a commitment as well — to cracking the ranks of successful performers there.
“I have no more excuses” not to try it, he says.