Scott Studios celebrated as 'game changer' for performing arts

Elon University leaders have dedicated a new facility on West Haggard Avenue that gives performing arts students expanded rehearsal and studio space that complement existing venues in the Center for the Arts.

The campus community gathered Sept. 26 to dedicate Scott Studios, a new rehearsal and studio facility adjacent to Arts West that creates new possibilities for Elon University’s nationally recognized performing arts programs.

Dozens of students, faculty, administrators and benefactors watched as benefactors cut a ribbon that formally opened space in use since the start of the fall semester.

Scott Studios features classroom, rehearsal, production, and performance spaces for faculty and students in the Department of Performing Arts. The facility is named for Elon parents Don Scott and Ellen Scott of Denver, Colorado, and their son, Teddy Scott, a 2010 alumnus of Elon’s music theatre program.

“This is a phenomenal program and it deserves our support,” Don Scott said at the dedication. “(And today) is an honor. Ellen and I are thankful for the opportunity to support a university that we love.”

Roberts Studio Theatre inside the facility is named for Bill and Amy Roberts, and Amy’s father, E.C. Hunt, whose gifts helped make the space possible. Bill and Amy Roberts’ daughter, Jennifer, is a 2013 theatre arts alumna.

Elon University President Leo M. Lambert praised both families, along with two additional parents who wish to remain anonymous, for their commitment to growing the university’s performing arts programs through gifts that supported the new facility.

“All of these donors are outstanding examples of Elon parents and grandparents whose philanthropic support has helped build this campus and strengthen Elon’s national reputation,” Lambert said. “The performing arts are an essential part of our lives and a liberal arts education. They help us understand what it means to be human.

“Here in Scott Studios and Roberts Studio Theatre, the performing arts will thrive and continue to inspire our talented students who are a source of light for the world.”

The dedication also featured remarks from Professor Fred Rubeck, chair of the Department of Performing Arts, and Gabie Smith, interim dean of Elon College, the College of Arts & Sciences.

“This building is really going to be a game-changer for us,” said Rubeck, describing how Scott Studios will allow more attention to be paid to programs and rehearsals in space across campus that, until now, had been tightly scheduled and cramped. “It’s times like this when we open a new space, and the possibilities that come with it, that determine what we’re going to become.”

Smith praised the Department of Performing Arts for its student accomplishments and the success of alumni being recognized with Tony Award nominations, attending graduate programs at schools such as Yale and New York University, and working in national venues on stage, backstage and on screen.

“The facilities in Scott Studios will enable the performing arts department to continue to thrive,” Smith said. “Its addition will enhance our intellectual climate, as it enables other departments to make full use of all of our theatre spaces, benefitting students across the College of Arts & Sciences.”

The ribbon cutting was followed by a special performance by students and faculty in the Roberts Studio Theatre. A reception and tours of the facility followed the show. The performance highlighted student and faculty talents and also demonstrated the state-of-the art lighting and sound systems in the theatre.