Scallet awarded Arts Council fellowship

rscallet_headshotPRESS RELEASE



September 22, 2014

CONTACT: Dr. Mary Ruth Marotte, (501) 428-4165;



CONWAY — Rebekah Scallet, producing artistic director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, has been awarded an individual artist fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council.

Scallet, in her fourth year as producing artistic director for AST and lecturer in the University of Central Arkansas theatre program, is one of nine honorees this year. Categories were Literary Arts: Short Story Writing; Performing Arts: Directing of Theater Productions; and Visual Arts: Works on Paper.

Scallet was awarded in the Performing Arts: Directing of Theater Productions category for her directorial work in Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s 2012 production of Twelfth Night, which was performed outdoors both at The Village at Hendrix and at Wildwood Park for the Arts. A jury of professional artists, writers, performers and art administrators selected Scallet’s work.

“I am so excited to have received this award from the Arts Council, and in particular for my work on Twelfth Night,” Scallet said.It’s my all-time favorite Shakespeare play, and I was fortunate to have an outstanding group of actors, designers and technicians working with me to create the AST production. It is an honor to now have our work recognized in this way. I am proud to live in a state that supports and encourages its artists.”

Fellowships of $4,000 each enable the artists to set aside time for creating their art and improving their skills. Scallet plans to use the money to travel to London and Stratford to attend productions at the Globe Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

“I have never been able to travel there before, and I’m thrilled to be able to see the work they are doing there and meet with the artists who are creating it,” she said.

Dr. Mary Ruth Marotte, executive director of AST, said she was “beyond thrilled” to partner with Scallet, calling her “an artistic director with the integrity and intelligence to guide actors toward performances that have transformed audiences’ perceptions about Shakespearean drama. “

“She demands excellence, but she does so with humanity and heart,” Marotte said. “In turn, all those who come into contact with her adore her. She is so deserving of this award, and it will certainly be the first of many.”

Scallet, raised in Little Rock, studied theatre at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School and earned her B.A. in Theatre and English from Brandeis University and her M.F.A. in Directing from Illinois State. She lived and worked in Chicago for 10 years, where she was a member of the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and also worked with Northlight Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Theatre Seven, LiveWire Chicago Theatre, Raven Theatre, and greasy joan & co. She spent five summers with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in a variety of capacities, from director to assistant artistic director to green show producer.

Besides Twelfth Night, Scallet has also directed for AST King Lear and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Other favorite past productions include The Caucasian Chalk Circle and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur at UCA; As You Like It, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival; The Philadelphia Story at Illinois State; Top Girls at Eureka College; and Orestes at the College of Lake County.

“Not only has Rebekah Scallet emerged as a leading director in Arkansas, she is also gaining attention at a national level,” said John Gale, chair of UCA’s Department of Mass Communication and Theatre. “She is profoundly articulate in allowing her actors to enter into a spirit of cooperation and collaboration to provide superior productions. She is one to watch in the world of theatre. Arkansas is fortunate to have her here.”

Others awarded Arts Council fellowships this year are Amy Herzberg of Fayetteville and Kassie Misiewicz of Bentonville, also in the Performing Arts: Directing of Theater Productions category; Maria Cantrell of Alma and Alice Otto and Hung Pham of Fayetteville in Literary Arts: Short Story Writing; and Sheila Cantrell of Batesville, Delita S. Martin of Little Rock and Kathryn (Kat) Wilson of Fayetteville in Visual Arts: Works on Paper.

The artists will be recognized at a reception, co-sponsored by Historic Arkansas Museum, on Friday, Oct. 3, from 6-8 p.m. at the museum on 200 E. Third St. in Little Rock. The reception is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; reservations are required. For reservations, call (501) 324-9766.