Nashville’s arts community took to Facebook today to express its shock and sorrow over the sudden death of Scot Copeland, and express admiration for the man who led the Nashville Children’s Theatre as artistic director for more than 30 years. We’ve gathered some of those responses below. In its announcement on Facebook, the NCT wrote:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Artistic Director, Scot Copeland. He passed away last night, February 24th. His passing is a great loss to NCT, the Nashville Theatre community, and the Theatre for Young Audiences community as a whole. We will share more information as it becomes available.
All scheduled programs, including tonight’s performance of ROSA PARKS AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT, will take place as scheduled— just as Scot would want.”
Other responses came from theatre companies, arts organization representatives and many of the actors Copeland guided through dozens and dozens of productions, some of which he had written.
Jennifer Gilligan Cole – Metro Nashville Arts Commision
I cannot think of an arts leader in this community who has given more personally and professionally to this community than Scot Copeland. He has supported two generations of school children and artistically staged some of the most compelling theatre in our community and beyond. He was an artist, an agitator and most profoundly my friend. Rene Copeland, my love and prayers to you. I’m heartbroken at his passing. Nashville Children’s Theatre, I am here for you. Metro Arts stands with you in love and loss and support. God speed brillant man.
Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project
We are saddened to note the passing of Scot Copeland, Producing Director of Nashville Children’s Theatre. For 30 years, Scot created the best in theater for young Nashville audiences. Generations of kids have fond memories of NCT productions. Moreover, Scot earned nationwide admiration for his work and NCT. The Nashville theater community, and our city, will long celebrate his life and work. RIP.
Nettie Kraft – Actor and Educator
It’s a sad day in the Nashville theater world. My thoughts and love are with the friends and family of Scot Copeland, especially his wife. I’m just so sorry
Evans Donnell -Arts Critic
Scot Copeland‘s light brightened the world. It’s sad beyond words that he’s gone, but what a great thing for Nashville and children’s theater here and elsewhere that this gifted soul passed our way. RIP
Megan Murphy Chambers – Actor
Devastated this morning. Nashville has lost a brilliant, kind, affectionate, vulgar, innovative, generous, warm and loving light. No words.
All of us at the Belcourt are so saddened to learn of Scot Copeland’s passing. The Nashville Children’s Theatre had some of its early years at the Belcourt and has a special place in our history. Scot’s wonderful leadership of NCT was a gift to us all in Nashville. Our thoughts are with his family and all our arts colleagues at NCT.
Sallie Mayne – Former development director at NCT
In 1988, I walked into NCT naively to answer phones. For 13 years Scot Copeland mentored me in the ways of arts admin. and our conversations venture into many other areas of life. My success in the arts was launched there. My heart is heavy and I’m at loss for words to describe what our relationship meant to me. He has impacted many and we are all hurting. There is a big hole in Nashville.
Rosemary Stewart – Actor
My favorite magician passed away. Thank you for the joy, the silliness, the strength, and the magical world you created. Thank you for believing in me.
Amanda Card – Actor
So turn off the lights
And clear the set
We’ll read the script’s last page
Now we’ll sit in the dark
Just holding hands
Alone – together – on this stage
And we’ll be friends
Even after it ends
There is still more to discover
We know that we’ll be friends
Even after it ends
Cuz we’ll always have some of each other
– Elephant & Piggie WE ARE IN A PLAY
A joint statement from Nashville Children’s Theatre and Nashville Repertory Theatre, where Scot’s wife, René D. Copeland is the artistic director, is expected later this week.