Artist Bio

Neel McNeill

Neel McNeill is a recognized arts leader, community advocate, and producer known for her impactful contributions to the arts in Chicago. Currently, she is the Executive Director at Definition Theatre, while concurrently serving as the Managing Director of Theater & Performance Studies at the University of Chicago. With a wealth of experience in the theater industry, Neel previously contributed her talents to Steppenwolf Theatre as their Marketing & Memberships Manager. A graduate of Howard University, Neel holds a degree in Theatre Arts Administration and Business Administration. She made history as the inaugural recipient of the Broadway in Chicago Backstage Champion Award, recognized for her outstanding contributions to the Chicago theater scene. Neel, previously listed by American Theater Magazine as a “theatre worker to know,” was highlighted in New City Players: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago in both 2019 and 2024. Committed to lifelong learning, she completed the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy in 2018 and obtained a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Chicago in 2021. Continuing her educational journey, Neel pursued a Master of Arts in Social Sector Leadership & Nonprofit Management as an Obama Foundation Scholar at the University of Chicago. Neel’s deep passion for both the arts and nonprofit leadership emphasizes her belief in the transformative power of theater and the arts.