Robert Scales 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. Bob 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.
Following his retirement, he served as the Emeriti College director and later as the Emeriti Center’s volunteer associate director until he passed away in May 2019. Bob was dedicated to both USC faculty and staff as well as students and alumni. His dedicated service to the the Center, Emeriti College, RFA and SRA garnered him respect and affection from all. To recognize Bob’s many contributions, in 2015 the Emeriti Center honored 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, 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, 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.
Live Design Online has a memorial page honoring Bob who passed away in 2019: www.livedesignonline.com.
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