Last updated 10/11/2021
Professor Emeritus Robert R. Scales, Ph.D. is a fellow of USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) and has held full-time positions in consulting and/or technical production and lighting design at professional theatre organizations including Theatre Projects Consultants, McCallum Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Stratford Festival Theatre of Canada, and Guthrie Theatre. He has taught at Yale University, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, Hardin-Simmons University, Banff School of the Arts, University of Missouri at Kansas City and Pueblo, CO High School. He serves on the Boards of Theater LA, the 24th Street Theater and Starlight Theater in San Diego.
Following his retirement as Dean and Professor from the School of Dramatic Arts in 2003, Dr. Scales served the university as the Emeriti College Director until 2008 and has served as volunteer Associate Director for the Emeriti Center for the past 7 years. In his role as College director, he doubled the number of presentations in local communities. Throughout the past 12 years, he has served as a leader on the Emeriti Center’s executive committee, restructured and supported the Center’s data collection procedures, created and conducted numerous surveys, served on the RFA board, supported senior housing initiatives and hearing loop technology advocacy, and served as data manager, strategy and advisement support for AROHE.org (Association of Retirement Associations in Higher Education) a nonprofit housed at the Emeriti Center. In the past year, Dr. Scales has been a key leader and supporter during the Center’s transition to the University Religious Center.
Bob retired as dean of the USC School of Theatre (now Dramatic Arts) in 2003, where he also served as a professor. He was a fellow of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) and consulted for or held positions in technical production and lighting design at professional theatre organizations including: Theatre Projects Consultants, McCallum Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Stratford Festival Theatre of Canada, and Guthrie Theatre. Dr. Scales taught at several institutions besides USC, including: Yale University, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, Hardin-Simmons University, Banff School of the Arts, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He served on the boards of directors of Theatre LA, 24th Street Theatre, and Starlight Theatre of San Diego.
Bob was given the honored title: Professor Emeritus of Theatre and following retirement, he served as the USC Emeriti College director and later as the Emeriti Center’s associate director and senior adviser until he passed away in May 2019. Bob was dedicated to both USC faculty and staff as well as students and alumni. His stellar service to the Emeriti Center, Emeriti College, RFA and SRA garnered him respect and admiration. To recognize Bob’s many contributions, in 2015 the Emeriti Center honored him with the Paul Hadley Award for faculty service to USC.
In 2017, 24th Street Theatre honored Bob by naming the Theatre’s scene shop after him. And in 2018 and 2019, Bob received several recognitions. USITT honored him with the Joel E. Rubin Founders Award; the City of LA honored him for his contributions for the City’s Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), instigated by 24th Street Theatre; and the City of Culver City honored him for his part in the renovation of the City’s Robert Frost Theatre.
Throughout his retirement, Bob created “ghost lights” used as night lights to support many theatre philanthropies. Additionally, he volunteered for and contributed to 24th Street Theatre, the USC School of Dramatic Arts, USITT, Behind the Scenes, ETC Theatre Company, the Emeriti Center, AROHE.org and the LA Phil.
A celebration of life honoring Bob Scales was held on Saturday, September 28th at the Bing Theatre, hosted by the School of Dramatic Arts and the USC Emeriti Center.
Thank you, Dr. Scales…Your legacy will live on at USC!