Richard Scott, who has been producing artistic director at the Egyptian Theatre Company in Park City since 1995, will be the new general manager and artistic director of Salt Lake Community College's Grand Theatre.
Scott, who has acted and directed for theaters throughout the Wasatch Front area since moving here more than 20 years ago from southern New Jersey, officially assumes his new responsibilities at the Grand on Monday, Aug. 13.
He will, however, be involved with both theaters for a few weeks, helping ETC through its transition in filling his vacated position there while learning the ropes at the Grand. Pat Davis, who was hired on a temporary basis earlier this year to operate the Grand after former executive director Kenneth Plain left, will work with Scott for a few days while he gets acquainted with his new surroundings.
Scott said the Grand's 2001-02 season, which had been previously arranged by Davis, will remain intact, including the directors she had hired. The Grand's next season will include "State Fair," "No,No, Nanette," "A Tuna Christmas," "The Odd Couple" (the female version), "Anne of Green Gables" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," the latter being directed by Davis.
Scott noted Monday that his biggest challenges at this point are getting acquainted with a different audience base and making the transition from a private theater company to one centered in a campus setting.
"The general public probably doesn't realize that one of the reasons I'm in a position to take on the Grand is because of the work I've done in other theaters around the area," he said. "The theatrical community here is very good about sharing its knowledge and talent."
The nature of the space, too — a 1,140-seat theater compared to the much smaller Egyptian Theatre — will be a big change for Scott.
"The Grand is known for big, "warhorse" musicals." he said.
Scott would like to work toward tapping into the younger, college-age audience.
The Grand Theatre is located on SLCC's South City campus, 1575 S. State, on what was formerly the old South High School campus.
Scott spearheaded major changes at the historic Egyptian Theatre in recent years, including expansion of the stagehouse and new restroom and dressing room facilities.
"I was involved off and on with the Egyptian Theatre since 1981, mostly as a performer," said Scott, who was president of ETC's board for one year during the mid 1980s.
During that time he became a fulltime actor, including performances at Salt Lake Acting Company ("The Ghoseman" and "Voice of the Prairie") and his first show at Pioneer Theatre Company ("The Grapes of Wrath").
Scott earned his Actors Equity card in 1994.
Originally from southern New Jersey, right outside of Philadelphia, Scott came to Utah to ski.
"I had taken some acting classes at Temple University in Philadelphia and was en route to Seattle when I took a side trip to southern Utah and fell in love with the region," he said. "I decided to move here."
He spent some time in the hospitality and lodging business in Park City.
He met his wife, Michelle Peterson, daughter of the late Glade Peterson — founder of the Utah Opera Company — when they were both in a staged reading at SLAC. They also performed together in "Tally's Folly" in Park City.
"It seems like I've done everything later in life than most," he said. He was about 46 or 47 when he and Michelle were married, and — at 50 — his home life revolves around their first child, eight-month-old Sarah Olivia Scott.
But assuming his new position at the Grand "will be a definite challenge — with some terrific opportunities" for Richard Scott.