By: Dan Culhane, USITT President

The theatre industry lost another consummate professional this last week with the passing of Dr. Robert R. Scales. I had the distinct privilege of presenting Bob with USITT’s Joel E. Rubin Founders Award at this past Conference in Louisville. The award is given in recognition for outstanding and continued service to the Institute. At the time, Bob was too ill to attend the ceremony but he sent his grandson, Sebastian Scales, to accept the award and share some remarks on his behalf. Watching Sebastian speak, it was clear he had inherited his grandfather’s classic wit and charm.

I have had the great honor to follow in Bob’s footsteps throughout my career. Bob’s career was reflected in the many years he spent supporting USITT. He was a Technical Production Commissioner, a Board Member, served on countless committees, and was always an active and driving force within the Fellows of the Institute. He was on the 1987 USITT-USA Prague Quadrennial Team that won the prestigious Golden Triga award. In his professional life, Bob was the Technical Director at the Guthrie Theatre and other theatres across the U.S. and Canada. Bob was all that and so much more.

He was an educator, a designer, a Dean of the School of Theatre at The University of Southern California, and a theatre consultant. He was someone that took a challenge as an opportunity to improve the moment. I was constantly in awe that one person could do and accomplish so much. One person can make a huge difference and Bob is one who made great strides for this industry. Bob, we will miss your wit, wisdom, and your smile. USITT is better for having you on our team. Bob Scales, you will be missed.