Heritage: Fall 2021

Rebekah Bryant working in a shop atmosphere.

Rebekah Bryant: Setting the Stage

Rebekah Bryant
’06, BFA Technical Theatre
Alley Theatre Scene Shop Supervisor, Houston, TX

In the heart of downtown Houston, Rebekah Bryant builds, welds and paints theatrical scenery on the fourteenth floor of a professional scene shop. Her creations are then transported into a freight elevator down to the two performance spaces that comprise the Alley Theatre—the oldest professional theatre company in Texas.

Bryant supervises the Alley’s 14,000-square-foot shop where they fabricate everything that goes on stage. She and her team make sure the scenery technicians and scenic artists have what they need to do their craft and help keep things on budget and organized.

“The coolest part of my job is working with the best professionals in our industry, many of whom are fellow Bearkats,” Bryant said. “Everyone is so talented and kind. We are always in awe of each other’s abilities and I thrive in that environment.”

In a business that still uses plenty of old-world methods paired with state-of-the-art technology, Bryant believes her experience at SHSU set the stage for the career she always wanted.

“I was lucky to have a technical director at SHSU named Larry Routh, who really valued learning how to do things by hand and not always jumping to the modern or easiest way. He felt his job was to start us with understanding the craft, and that shaped me as a creator.”

As a theatre student, she worked behind the scenes on countless shows, and in every area possible, serving as a carpenter, painter, welder, seamstress, props artisan, designer, electrician and stage manager.

“Technology is the future of theatre, but we still employ building and painting techniques that are hundreds of years old, so being able to swing a hammer but also program a CNC router is really useful,” she said. “The theatre program at SHSU is very well-rounded and helped me become proficient in every department, which is essential in my industry and a huge part of my success.”