Arkansas Heritage Month – Robert Hupp

HuppRobert Hupp is in his final months of his seventeenth and final season as producing artistic director of Arkansas Rep.  In recognition of all of his service and artistic excellence, in 2013 he was the Individual Artists recipient of the Governor’s Arts Awards.

During his tenure in Little Rock, Hupp has overseen continued growth and development at The Rep. Since he assumed the producing artistic director’s position in 1999, the theatre has tripled its budget (currently at $4 million annually), increased contributed income by 100%, completed a successful capital campaign, and broadened the company’s artistic and economic base through co-productions with other nonprofit theatres and partnerships with institutions of higher education and community organizations. Under Hupp’s leadership, the theatre and actor housing apartments underwent a complete renovation in 2011. The Rep also renovated a new downtown scenic construction facility and recently opened The Annex, a black box theatre and education space, in Main Street’s Creative Corridor.

Hupp’s artistic stewardship at The Rep has been marked by seasons that reflect the great diversity of the theatrical canon. Shakespeare and American classics join new and contemporary works, and seasons always include musicals or plays with music. The current season contains the regional theatre premiere of The Bridges of Madison County, a new adaptation of The Little Mermaid, as well as a new comedy, Windfall, directed by Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander. The theatre also recently produced a new musical, Because of Winn Dixie, by Duncan Sheik and Nell Benjamin. Hupp has directed 28 productions while at The Rep, including The Grapes of Wrath, God’s Man in Texas, Les Miserables, August: Osage County, and all of The Rep’s recent Shakespearean productions.

In addition to his duties at The Rep, Hupp has shown a strong commitment to serving the central Arkansas community. He has served on numerous civic committees in Little Rock, including Little Rock’s Arts and Culture Commission, the Advisory Board of the ACANSA Arts Festival, and Vision Little Rock. He has collaborated with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Wildwood Park for the Arts, and the Arkansas Arts Center.  In 2012, he was named “Nonprofit Executive of the Year” at the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards, and also received the Arkansas Public Relations Society of Arkansas (PRSA) Diamond Award. Hupp has also been a panelist and on-site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and has served in various capacities for the Theatre Communications Group, including a term as vice president of the Board of Directors. Hupp has taught and directed at several Arkansas colleges and universities, including Hendrix College, University of Central Arkansas, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he also served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre in 2005.

Rep Receiving Recognition

Arkansas Business Publishing Group has announced the nominees for the 2012 Arkansas Business of the Year Awards.  Most years, cultural organizations and leaders appear in the non-profit categories.  2012 is no exception.

This year the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is nominated as Non-Profit Organization of the Year.  Also nominated this year is Robert Hupp, the Rep’s Producing Artistic Director in the category of Non-Profit Executive of the Year.

Many of the businesses nominated in the categories are also supporters of cultural organizations in the metropolitan Little Rock area.  At the risk of an omission, this entry won’t try to enumerate the nominees and the cultural institutions they support.  But without the support of the business community and business leaders, non-profit cultural institutions could not survive.

The awards will take place on Tuesday, February 21.  To purchase tickets, visit here.


Hupp to be honored by PR professionals

Earlier this month, the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announced that Hupp will received the Diamond Award on March 16 at the Little Rock Club.

The Diamond Award is Arkansas PRSA’s highest honor for contributions made during a career to enhance the image of Arkansas through work consistent with the principles of public relations.

The awards ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m., Friday, March 16, at the Little Rock Club. The event will be free to PRSA members, $40 for nonmembers and $20 for students. Reservations should be submitted by March 14.   Visit the PRSA website here.