Desmond Scott was born in England in 1926 and graduated from Cambridge University and the London Old Vic Theatre School.
He worked for a number of years at the BCC as an announcer, emigrating to Canada in 1957.
Desmond Scott was the ninth Artistic Director of Hart House Theatre.
Scott became the director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre in the early 1960s, while working as an actor and director. In 1970, following Leon Major’s departure to the newly constructed St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Scott became the director of productions at Hart House Theatre (then within the Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama). Continuing Major’s program of employing a professional company at Hart House Theatre, Scott’s tenure was controversial with the student body, with The Globe and Mail critic Herbert Whittaker arguing it only produced, “confusion… from the dubious nature of its connection with the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre.” However, his tenure was not without its artistic highs. Of particular note was his production of Endgame with Ted Follows who was described as giving a “marvellous performance of aimless monotony.”
Scott’s work after his departure from Hart House Theatre in 1972 has continued to incorporate his interest in Beckett through his passion as a sculptor. As Scott describes his work is “inspired by the theatre, particularly Samuel Beckett and Shakespeare.” His series of pieces based Waiting for Godot in particular garnered critical acclaim.7 His artistic career since the 1970s exemplifies the breadth of his interests and has included serving as President of the Canadian Sculptor’s society, teaching at the National Theatre School, and lecturing on the life and work of his father, Cyril Scott.
Desmond is also past President of the Sculptors Society of Canada. His sculpture is often theatrically inspired, and even when not there is a strong dramatic element. He has been influenced by Frink, Giacometti, Beckett and Shakespeare. Scott has had five solo exhibitions in Toronto in 1964, 1969, 1982, 1990, and 1994. In 1990, the exhibition was solely of works inspired by the works of Samuel Beckett.
Nine of his bronze sculptures inspired by Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot were on display for several years at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario and have now been donated to the Irish Theatre in Buffalo, New York. Scott exhibits regularly at the Sculptors Society of Canada and has also shown in New York, The Hague and London, Ontario. His work is in private collections in Australia, England, Switzerland, the U.S. and throughout Canada.
Since 1999 Scott has been lecturing on his father, Cyril and has given illustrated talks in Philadelphia (1999), Birmingham UK, (2000) Charlottetown P.E.I,(2001) Boulder Colorado USA (2002) Toronto, (2002 & 2003) and Melbourne (2004).
In Melbourne there was a Society of International Musicologists Seminar at Monash University where six papers including Desmond’s were given on Cyril Scott. Accompanied by his wife Corinne they also gave an extended lecture in Melba Hall at the University of Melbourne which focussed on Cyril’s lifelong friend Percy Grainger and was organized by the Friends of the Grainger Museum.
Desmond Scott currently resides in Toronto with his wife Corinne Langston (a fellow artist) and his daughter Amanta Cecilia Scott and son Dominic Daniel Scott.