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Cecil O'Neal

Profile Updated: July 5, 2017
Residing In:
Dallas and La Chapelle Gonaguet, France France
Spouse/Partner:
Rebecca Young
Occupation:
Professor Emeritus, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU
Military Service:
Army  
Comments:

I spent the summer of 1961 working at my job at the Banner Gas station (cheapest gas in town, 29.9 a gallon at that time) on the corner of 63rd and 22nd. Jim Zaleski, Peter Gentile and I were fellow "Banner Boys". That fall I could not afford to go away to university so John Sturino and I joined the army, at the height of the Berlin crisis, on the "Buddy System" and went through basic training together.

On our first leave home after basic John asked me to rough up some senior who was giving his then girlfriend a hard time. John couldn't do it himself, because the guy was about my size and John thought he would have seemed too much of a bully taking on someone that much smaller.

After three years in the army, including about a year in Germany, and a bit of time bumming around Europe, I came back to kenosha and started university, first at the "extension", then in Madison. I received a BA in Political Science from UW Madison in 1968.

I strongly considered law school or grad school in Poli Sci after graduation, but...I had become involved as an actor with an experimental theatre company called the Organic Theatre in my senior year in Madison. We received an invitation from Paul Sills, one of the founders of Second City, to perform in Chicago and that was that. We moved to Chicago as a company and I spent the next ten years working as an actor and director in Chicago. During that time I co-founded Victory Gardens Theatre, which is still going strong and which won the 2002 Tony Award for outstanding regional theatre.

I then started getting a lot of directing work in Canada and moved to Canada around 1979. I worked in Canadian theatre, including a stint as Producer of The Stratford Shakespeare Festival (the largest not-for-profit theatre in North America) until 1988. In 1988 I was appointed as a tenured full professor and chair of The Division of Theatre in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I retired in 2011, then served as a consultant for the dean of the Meadows School for another two years.

In 1992 I married Rebecca Young from Louisville, KY. We met when she was working as Public Relations director for the Meadows School.

Nearly ten years ago Becky and I bought a 700 year old monastic building in rural France which we have very slowly restored. We spend as much time there as possible now and hope to spend much of the year there after Becky retires.

i can't wait to reconnect with you all next summer.

Cheers!

Cecil's Latest Interactions

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Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Aug
21
Aug 21, 2019 at 2:39 PM

Posted on: Aug 21, 2019 at 10:33 AM

Happy Birthday, Kate! How's life in the big city? I was delighted that my old friend Andre finally got his Tony.

Best,
C

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Aug
14
Aug 14, 2019 at 5:01 PM

Posted on: Aug 14, 2019 at 10:27 AM

Happy Birthday, Tom. I hope you have a great day and a great year ahead.

Best,
C

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Aug
17
Aug 17, 2019 at 2:47 PM

Posted on: Aug 14, 2019 at 10:26 AM

Oops! Missed your birthday. I hope it was super. Sending you all the best for the year ahead.

XO
C

Cecil O'Neal added a comment on Profile.
Aug
08
Aug 08, 2019 at 8:20 AM
Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Jul
08
Jul 08, 2019 at 1:59 PM

Posted on: Jul 08, 2019 at 6:11 AM

Hey Peter,

A belated "Happy Birthday" from rural France where we are, hopefully, coming to the end of a record breaking heat wave. It was great seeing you at the 75th bash and meeting Judy. Drop a line when you have a moment and let me know how you are doing.

Best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message.
May
07
May 07, 2019 at 8:28 AM

Happy Birthday, Paul. I hope you and Mary Beth have a great time celebrating. It was great seeing you both at the Birthday Bash.

Best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message.
May
02
May 02, 2019 at 8:46 AM

A belated Happy Birthday, Buzz! I hope you are still celebrating.

Best,
C

Apr
26
Apr 26, 2019 at 8:13 AM
Cecil O'Neal added a comment on Profile.
Apr
06
Apr 06, 2019 at 8:04 AM
Cecil O'Neal posted a message.
Feb
24
Feb 24, 2019 at 6:27 AM

Happy Birthday, I hope it is a great one. I just saw Chuck’s message. Weren’t you two next door neighbors as kids?

Cecil O'Neal has a birthday today. New comment added.
Feb
17
Feb 17, 2019 at 6:35 AM

Posted on: Feb 16, 2019 at 4:33 AM

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Sep
06
Sep 06, 2018 at 1:46 PM

Posted on: Sep 06, 2018 at 7:01 AM

Happy Birthday, Nancy. I hope it is a great one. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Aug 09, 2018 at 8:03 AM

Posted on: Aug 08, 2018 at 9:57 AM

Happy Birthday, Suzette. I hope it is a great one. Can't wait to see you next month.

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Jun 17, 2018 at 4:57 PM

Posted on: Jun 17, 2018 at 10:58 AM

Happy Birthday, Jack. I hope it is a great one.

Apr 26, 2018 at 3:38 PM

Hey Joe,

Happy Birthday! I hope you are having a great day. Will I see you two in September?

Best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Apr 05, 2018 at 12:50 PM

Posted on: Apr 05, 2018 at 6:25 AM

Hey Buddy, Happy Birthday! Can you believe how old we are? It was 57 years ago when we joined the army together on the "buddy system". I hope all is well in your life. Are you going to the 75th birthday bash. At the moment I plan on being there.

Cheers,
C

Cecil O'Neal added a comment on Profile. New comment added.
Feb 22, 2018 at 12:45 PM

Posted on: Feb 22, 2018 at 10:10 AM

Cecil O'Neal has a birthday today. New comment added.
Feb 16, 2018 at 11:41 AM

Posted on: Feb 16, 2018 at 4:33 AM

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 26, 2018 at 1:16 PM

Posted on: Jan 26, 2018 at 7:03 AM

Happy Birthday, Chuck! Hope it is a great one.

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 08, 2018 at 10:05 AM

Posted on: Jan 05, 2018 at 7:54 AM

Dear Connie, Happy Birthday from rural France. I hope you have a marvellous day and a marvellous year.

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:02 AM