Who had the most influence on your career in the theatre and how did than influence manifest itself?
My father was a professor of theatre at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for forty-years, and because of his influence, all I ever remember was a desire to be in the theatre. The apple did not fall far from the tree.
The positive change is that the quality of our work has vastly improved in my lifetime. The negative is that the popularity of the American Outdoor Historical Drama is waning.
3. What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
From Mark Sumner, the outgoing director of the Institute of Outdoor Drama when I was following him in the job: “Don’t get stuck in this chair. Go out and see what’s being done across the country.” Did or didn't you follow it? Indeed, I did follow it for my 18 years at the IOD, and I would visit as many as 25 outdoor theatres (history plays, Shakespeare festivals and religious dramas in 38 states), each summer season. What were the consequences? I had a reading of the pulse of the outdoor theatre genre in the U.S., and could address trends and concerns that best served the movement.
Scott Parker was interviewed by Rhona Justice-Malloy at the 2016 National Theatre Conference at The Players in New York City.