Avon Middle School North Student Eli Neal Stars in the Classroom, Community & in “The Addams Family”
Writer / ACSC
Photography Provided by Julie Curry/Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
In real life, Eli Neal is anything but creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky or ooky. But once the lights go down and he takes the stage as Pugsley Addams, Neal embraces the part — and brings down the house.
This Avon Middle School North student earned a title role in the production of “The Addams Family,” which ran this past fall at Beef & Boards.
An accomplished actor, Neal isn’t letting his demanding theatrical gig keep him from giving his all to his academic and extracurricular commitments at school. “Eli is a terrific student at North and has a fantastic personality,” says Matt Hines, AMS North principal. “This is a great opportunity for a great kid!”
We recently had a chance to talk with the talented student about his love of acting.
What got you interested in acting?
“I started acting through the Biz Theatrical Productions in Avon. I took a few theater and acting classes there and I really enjoyed the friendly and fun environment. My first show was “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Biz and that’s when I fell in love with theater. Since then, I have performed in 17 shows with six theatre groups across Indiana including AMS North.
What has it been like playing Pugsley?
“This role has really been a fantastic experience. Pugsley is a mischievous character and I enjoy bringing out his emotions and devotion to his family. I love “The Addams Family” and playing Pugsley has been so much fun. I have learned so many things from these actors and directors. I love everyone I have performed with.”
When you’re not acting, what other activities do you enjoy?
“I am a candidate for Eagle Scout with Troop 392 in Avon. I am my scout troop’s senior patrol leader and I love leading my troop to help our community. I am also the president of the AMS North chapter of National Junior Honor Society. While I’m not doing those things, I enjoy golfing, swimming, and writing with my friends.”
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
“I have been fortunate to be supported by so many people who work in the fine arts department in the Avon School Corporation and community: Mr. Jones, Ms. Brown, Mr. Emtiaz, Mr. Zimmerman, Mrs. Gregory, Jeff and Alex Van Paris, Eddie Curry, Allison Williamson and Emily Ristine Holloway.”
We’re so excited that Eli had this opportunity to shine under the bright lights on one of the biggest stages in central Indiana. While you have the chance, you really ought to see ’em; he really is a scream!
Break a leg, Eli!