Jan 1, 2024

Kim Scott & PLT Evolving Together

I want to bring a smile to people’s faces in our community. I have a goal to make sure everyone knows about PLT and when they think about us, they think of a good and exciting place and an open, welcoming place.” —  Kim Scott

When Kim Scott joined Pensacola Little Theatre in summer 2022 as community outreach director, she was stepping into a shifting landscape.

“I feel like we’re evolving in every way possible,” said Scott.

“We’re going through a renovation. We’re renovating the theater, we’re adding a rooftop entertainment venue. And we have such a dynamic and talented staff. So we’re also evolving,” said Scott, who grew up in northern Virginia just outside Washington DC.

The former teacher is forging fresh visions for transforming the beloved community theater.

Thanks to a generous donation, the complex in which PLT is housed is being renamed the Clark Family Cultural Center. The main theater is pristine after a major overhaul and this summer’s rooftop opening promises a starstruck venue.

But even more than the physical facility upgrades, Scott’s passion is to unite with the community for the greater good.

Operation Outreach

Her PLT journey started 18 months ago with an interview for a part-time administrator. But it quickly evolved into a full-time outreach position as Scott’s passion for impacting the community emerged.

“My brain wanted to focus on the outreach more than being an administrator,” said the mother of a toddler son. “I do community outreach. So that just means bringing our outreach to the community but also bringing the community to us.”

She is doing just that in multiple ways.

“We do field trips, we do interactive theater programs at schools and adaptive learning centers. We go to all of the libraries, book stores.”

She headed up a program called Character Building Through Building Characters after PLT was awarded the Escambia Children’s Trust grant, resulting in a six-week program for area school children. The first students to partake were 17 fourth and fifth graders from Global Learning Academy, who performed Aesop’s Fables at the end of their camp in the fall.

“We are able to offer theater classes for free including transportation. We pick up the kids after school, bring them over and we do theater classes,” explained Scott, adding that the benefits transcend theatrical training.

As a middle school teacher at Dixon School of the Arts for three years, Scott saw firsthand how the arts could be transformative and hopes to make them accessible to students at all Escambia County schools.

“A lot of those students had been through trauma. And a lot of times they’re looking to express themselves in different ways and sometimes that may not be in the best ways. So if you give them an outlet to express themselves it kind of heals that trauma they had, or has the potential to,” said Scott. “On a simpler level, if the student has a hard life, if they’re struggling at school, struggling at home, maybe this three hours that they’re with us at PLT they can know they’re loved, know they’re cared about. Just to know there’s another adult who believes in them can be a healing.”

Scott wants to extend that kind of possibility to young people on a bigger scale.

“My goal is to reach every school in Escambia County — elementary, middle and high.”

She hopes to make PLT a mirror of the community and a safe haven for children as well as volunteers and patrons. And continue reaching out to the military, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adaptive learning centers as well as schools.

“I want to bring a smile to people’s faces in our community,” said Scott. “I have a goal to make sure everyone knows about PLT and when they think about us, they think of a good and exciting place and an open, welcoming place. And to of course diversify our audiences — encourage people who haven’t seen a show, maybe they can try a show and try something different.”

Growing, Changing, Thriving

Growing up, Scott loved speech competitions and creating productions with friends.

“I was always that friend who was like, ‘You guys, let’s make a movie or tell stories.’ I was always trying to video something or make a play among my friends. So I’ve always had this love of performing. What I really grew into loving was directing.”

She’ll never forget her directing debut — a 10-minute scene in a theater class at Pensacola Christian College, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and played point guard on the basketball team.

“Mine was actually pretty terrible. I didn’t do it perfectly, but it felt so right,” she said.

Later she was one of only two students in her college class chosen to direct a full show. She directed “Peter Pan” as a graduate student and directed several mixed shows at Dixon School of the Arts.

Outside of her job, Scott loves attending concerts at Vinyl Music Hall, interacting with her toddler, taking walks and has recently taken up pickleball. Taqueria El Asador on Davis Highway just may be the favorite local eatery for Scott and her husband, who works at Olive Baptist Church. She drinks a lot of coffee — particularly at Maker’s Cafe & Espresso Bar down the street from PLT. She’s a member of Impact 100 and mentors a seventh grader through Take Stock in Children.

But Scott’s biggest passion has to be PLT!

“It takes the word community to a whole new level because of how many people are involved and how many people love PLT,” she said.  “I’m thankful to work at a place where I can’t think of a cap to how far I can go being the outreach director. It’s exciting that we’re still shaping all the potential that the position can have.”