LITTLE ROCK, ARK., and SYRACUSE, N.Y.: Arkansas Repertory Theatre has announced that producing artistic director Robert Hupp will resign after the completion of his 17th season with the company this June. Hupp will plan the 2016–17 season before assuming his new position as the artistic director of Syracuse Stage, where he will succeed Timothy Bond. He will start at Syracuse Stage in July 2016.
“For nearly two decades, the Rep has been fortunate to have one of the country’s premiere producing artistic directors at the helm,” said board president Catherine Hughes in a statement. “While we celebrate Bob and wish him well in his new venture, we will sorely miss his energetic and intelligent leadership. He has played an integral part in the life of our community, and his departure will create a void which will be difficult to fill. On behalf of the board and the community at large, I offer Bob our deepest gratitude for creating theatre of the highest artistic quality on our local stage.”
Hupp was the second executive to lead Arkansas Repertory Theatre in its 40-year history after founder Cliff Fanin Baker stepped down in 1999. During his tenure at the Rep, the theatre tripled its budget, increased contributed income by 100 percent, completed a successful capital campaign, and expanded the company’s artistic and economic base through coproductions and partnerships. Also under his leadership, renovations on actor housing and the scenic construction facility were completed, and a new black box performance and education space was opened. Hupp has served on Little Rock’s Arts and Culture Commission, the advisory board of the ACANSA Arts Festival, and Vision Little Rock. Hupp is the 2013 recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award (Individual Artist), the 2014 Argenta Community Theatre Patron of the Year Award. Hupp has served as a panelist and on-site evaluator for the National Endowment of the Arts and served as the vice president of the board of directors for a term at Theatre Communications Group. He has taught and directed at universities including Hendrix College, University of Central Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he also served as the interim chair of the theatre department.
“Bob’s record of achievement at Arkansas Rep, combined with his proven commitment to high artistic quality, makes him an excellent choice to lead Syracuse Stage into the future,” said Bob Pomfrey, chair of Syracuse Stage’s board, in a statement. “I think our community will find him engaging as an artist and will come to value him as a contributor to the cultural discourse of Central New York.”
“It’s been an honor to steward the Rep for these past 17 years,” Hupp said in a statement. “I am especially grateful to the kind and generous patrons of central Arkansas who make creating theatre here fun and rewarding. Little Rock has been a tremendous place to raise a family, and a wonderful place to call home. I’ve been extremely lucky to work with such a dedicated board of directors and a multi-talented Rep staff. Arkansas Rep’s future is very bright, and I look forward to being a fan for years to come.”