Literature teacher thrives in local theater scene


Dr. Charlie Scott

Upper School literature teacher Dr. Charlie Scott plays the role Estragon in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.”

Elliott Crantz, Digital Content Manager

For the last quarter of the century, Dr. Charlie Scott has been teaching AP literature at Kinkaid while also helping grow the theater companies of Houston.

Dr. Scott is known around Kinkaid for his hilarious antics in the English department and for the sign “YODA” outside his classroom door. 

But what many students and other faculty do not know is his success in the local theater scene. Over the past years, Dr. Scott has continued to act in and direct plays around Houston, garnering major acclaim for his work.

Dr. Scott was inspired by his mom to start acting when he was around 6 years old, and he started acting in plays directed by his mother at church. 

He recalled that he loved speaking in front of an audience and was able to start doing plays for the theater company in his town. Here, he had the chance to really refine his performing skills and become a talented actor. 

Other than memorizing the lines, Dr. Scott said he loved every aspect of acting and performing. He noted that he really loves the process of performing in plays, especially the rehearsal stage of production, and he also enjoyed having the ability to move and affect an audience. 

He said he has always preferred comedic roles and strived for the feeling when he makes the audience laugh. 

Dr. Scott said his best performance as an actor occurred when he played the part of Estragon in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” a simplistic character who is mostly concerned with eating and sleeping. He has played this role many times in his career.

He attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville for undergraduate studies in English, which is where he took his acting and directing to the next level. This is also where he first started practicing the art of directing plays and the production process. By doing so, he experienced the other side of the visual arts world, and he absolutely loved it. 

After his time at UT Knoxville, Dr. Scott spent a summer at the University of London, studying theater criticism. Next, he went to graduate school at the University of Iowa, which has a reputation for a strong creative writing program, which is what Dr. Scott studied. Finally, he earned a doctorate in literature and writing at the University of Houston.

Dr. Scott’s first experiences with directing occurred when he directed a bunch of short scenes in various plays, but he was never able to direct full plays until he graduated from college.

Around 30 years ago, he and a few other actors and directors, most notably Jim Parsons from the television show “The Big Bang Theory,” started a theater production company originally called Infernal Bridegroom, and now called Catastrophic

In this company, Dr. Scott was able to make his start directing full-length plays, which he described as “an opportunity to exercise my imagination and aesthetic.” 

One of the highlights of Dr. Scott’s directing career has been the production of the ancient Greek play “Medea,” where he was able to add his own twist. 

The show, originally written by Euripides, follows the story of Medea, the Princess and sorceress of Colchis. 

Dr. Scott’s version of the play was wildly successful around Houston, and he won awards as the Houston Press’s “Most Outstanding Director” in 2005 and “Most Outstanding Theater Production” for “Medea.”