Julie Nelson, associate professor of theater, this week concluded a three-week lead role in the play “Vigil” at the Portland Stage in Maine.
Written by Morris Panych, the dark comedy is about a lifelong cynic who hurries to the bedside of his dying aunt Grace, played by Nelson, only to find she keeps on living. As weeks turn into months, the pair develops a cautious understanding even as the nephew becomes ridiculously desperate for change.
Nelson has acted off Broadway and in regional theater, recently as Lady Catherine de Bourgh in “Pride and Prejudice” at Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, N.C.; with Tim Crouch in “An Oak Tree,” and as the voice of Lynette in Monk Parrotts' “Here I Go” at 59E59.
A founding member of Shakespeare & Company, she worked extensively as an actor in main stage productions of “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” “As You Like It,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Twelfth Night” and “The Winter'sTale” as well as Edith Wharton's “House of Mirth” and Steven Dietz's “Private Eyes.”
Her training there in theatrical clown with teacher Merry Conway has been a mainstay in her work as an actor and teacher, and prompted her to further study with Philippe Gaulier, Bill Irwin and Jacques Lecoq.
Nelson has also worked as a professional dialect coach for several seasons at Capital Repertory Theater and Merrimack Repertory Theater as well as at Stage West and the Orchestra of Indian Hill.
She guest instructor at the National Arts Center in San Salvador, El Salvador, the MFA Acting Program at the New School, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville and St. Stephen's School in Austin, Texas.