December 31, 1965 – January 3, 2015
Julia Neary was born in Wilmette and graduated from New Trier High School. By the early 1990s, Julia already had made her mark in Chicago theater, initially as part of a show called "Night at the Fights: A Combat Spectacle," designed as a celebration of fight choreography. There were a dozen acts, but it was the women, Neary and her partner Teigh McDonough, who made the biggest impression. A famous series of collaborations on adaptations of young-adult novels penned by Francesca Lia Block, including "Missing Angel Juan" at the famous Organic Theatre with Ann Boyd, were most memorable. Additional theater credits include Ophelia in "Hamlet" (PowerTap Productions), Aurora Rodriguez in "Aurora's Motive" (Teatro Vista), "Ghetto" (Famous Door Theatre, Joseph Jefferson Award), and a memorable adaptation of Tom Spanbauer's "The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon." Additional work, as either actor, choreographer or both, was with About Face Theatre, Naked Eye Theatre Company, Strawdog Theatre, and Victory Gardens Theater, to name a few. Julia worked with DePaul University for more than 14 years, starting as an adjunct faculty member and then spent the last four as an assistant professor of acting and movement. She was a student herself at The Theatre School, graduating in 1990 with a BFA in Acting. She continued to receive graduate level credit at the University of Utah in the school’s Integrated Movement Studies program. Julia was known for her calm, sense of humor, and deep caring for her students. Survivors include her parents, Tom and Sally Neary and siblings, Susan (Neary Elovitz), Tom and Nancy.