Bob Hupp’s Best Moments in Soirée

We’ve come to the end. As the Arkansas Repertory Theatre wraps up its 40th mainstage season, Robert Hupp is leaving his position as the producing artistic director after 17 years to take on a new role as the artistic director of Syracuse Stage in New York.

In his time at The Rep, he’s grown the theater and its programs exponentially, becoming only the second producing artistic director in the theater’s 40-year history after company founder Cliff Baker stepped down in 1999.

But before he exits stage left, we’re looking back at a few of our favorite Bob Hupp quotes that we’ve featured in recent years.

Break a leg, Bob!


“We wanted the 40th [season] to reflect all the things we do best. That’s why there’s world premieres, family musicals, adult comedies, classics and Shakespeare. A theater company defines itself by how well it interprets those plays that have large artistic footprints.”

Q&A With the Cast of “Macbeth”

“Engagement with art gives us all new ways to experience ideas and emotions that broaden and enrich our comprehension of the world. There’s also the powerful opportunity to share experiences together, communally, which is increasingly rare today.”

ACANSA Arts Festival Unites The Rep, The Arts Center and The Symphony

Credit: Jason Masters

“We are doing it to tell great stories, not to bring in famous people. The story has to be first, the play has to be first.”

Jason Alexander Visits The Rep to Talk World Premiere of New Play

“I think that this is theater that is a theater of ideas. I think it gives us lots to chew on and contemplate. It’s a different way of looking at this artform that we do.”

– On the opening of The Rep’s new Black Box Theatre, Q&A with Joe Graves of “An Iliad”

“‘Red’ is powerfully theatrical and, in the words of my mentor Eve Adamson, demands to live on a stage. What does that mean? Well, that means that the idea — the conflict — in the play is most creatively brought to light in that darkened space inhabited by actors and audience. Some stories are best told through other media, like film, where the director, the cinematographer and the film editor can weave a riveting story through the tools of their craft. ‘Red’ is hot, the character of Rothko is larger than life and his passion spills across the stage. It is immediate and requires an audience to complete the equation.”

Arkansas Arts Center, The Rep Team Up To Paint Little Rock “Red” with Rothko

Credit: Rett Peek

“The Rep’s work is very diverse, and we would be remiss as a theater company if we did not share this play with our audience. I’m excited about it, and unapologetically so.”

Q&A With the Cast of “August Osage County”

“Without acknowledging where we’ve been, we can’t plan where we’re going. Looking to our past allows us to see what we’ve done well, what our audience responds to and what our community needs. Being aware of our history helps us to give shape to important next steps in our continually evolving and vital community-building process.”

Sonya & Mark Murphy Ready for an Epic Bash for Saints & Sinners

“You don’t get on a roller coaster because of a philosophical idea; you go to this play to have a thrilling time.”

Q&A With the Cast of “Wait Until Dark”

“Actors come from across the country to perform at The Rep, and many are away from family and friends at holiday time. Last Thanksgiving found us hosting (and cooking) a sit-down dinner for 30 when the cast of ‘Because of Winn Dixie’ joined us. These out-of-towners welcomed the opportunity to discover Chenal, and to see an entirely different side of our city. We welcomed the opportunity to extend the hospitality that we’ve shared and enjoyed with our neighbors this past year.”

The Inside Scoop on 6 Little Rock Neighborhoods from The People Who Live There

Credit: Jane Colclasure

“I think this story keeps coming back into popular culture because this story of the destructive nature of ambition comes back to haunt us. It speaks to something we all identify with, something we’re all afraid of, something we can recognize in the darker part of ourselves and here we see the consequences… Plus, as actors and a director, “Macbeth” is a bloody mess and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.”

– Q&A With the Cast of “Macbeth” 

“More and more, theater artists of national stature are approaching us about creating work in Little Rock; an intimate theater with a reputation for integrity and excellence, realized under the radar screen of the national press, and created for a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere is a powerful draw. Right now, this is a win-win experience for The Rep and our audience.”

– Arkansas Arts Center, The Rep Team Up To Paint Little Rock “Red” with Rothko

Credit: Rett Peek

If you’d like to join the farewell celebration including an open house tour of the theater on June 20, click here for details.


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