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Department of Theater
Dartmouth College
6204 Hopkins Center
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: 603-646-3104
Fax: 603-646-1757
Email: Department.of.Theater@Dartmouth.EDU
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Jim Kingsdale, In Memoriam

At Dartmouth, Jim Kingsdale '65, was an active contributing undergraduate. He wrote and helped produce the play that won a prize awarded by the General Electric Corporation. He was one of the daily news and weather broadcasters for the Dartmouth radio station. After graduating from Dartmouth, he attended and then graduated from the Harvard Business School. That period included a year in the U.S. Army. After an interesting and rewarding career in the field of cable television, Jim retired in 1990 with his family to Crested Butte, Colorado. There he became a well known and highly regarded participant in civic affairs.

Additionally he established a widely acclaimed internet site concerning investment strategies in the energy field. He contributed generously (and quietly) to a variety of worthy causes. He established a fund to support the Dartmouth Theatre Department. Jim traveled widely, and enjoyed tennis, skiing, hiking, and bridge. In all probability, he would have attended the Dartmouth Class of 1965 35th reunion. It is with overwhelming sorrow that his family informed the class of his passing in December of 2009.

Jim leaves his wife Nina Scirica Kingsdale, his son Andrew, his daughter Luisa Kingsdale Naughton, her husband Eric and their very young family Maxwell James, and Cecilia Nina; also his brother Jon Kingsdale, his sister Nancy Kingsdale Schwarzman. Jimmy is the beloved son of Margery Kingsdale and the late Robert Kingsdale.

-submitted by his mother, Margery Kingsdale

In Gratitude 

The Dartmouth Theater Department is grateful to Jim Kingsdale for his support of our students. The Kingsdale Fund has been instrumental in the undergraduate experience here in the Theater Department. 

"The Kingsdale Endowment was an important part of my Dartmouth experience. As a senior theatre major, to be able to share $10,000 (as i recall), among 10 of us! And all to be spent on theatre tickets and chances to travel to see shows--what an incredible thing that was! Alexis McGuinness (also '03, my best friend at Dartmouth, fellow theatre major and thesis partner) and I went to New York City for a weekend on one such Kingsdale excursion. She had caught wind of a sold-out secret run of Brecht's "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" starring John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Al Pacino, etc. We had just read this play and seen a German video of it in Annabelle's class, and we were dying to see it this production. It was being directed by the Complicite group, and we had been interested in them in looking at staging our own thesis project. Tickets were more than $150 a piece, and getting to NYC and back by train, at least that much a piece. But tickets had all been sold to private investors/supporters anyway, we told ourselves. Oh well, we thought, and spent the rest of the night talking in the Baker Library about how awesome it would be to see that show. A few days later, Alexis found out about a limited extension of the run, but tickets were pricey. We remembered that we could ask to see it through the Kingsdale endowment. We applied at the last minute and got permission to go.

We also got to make a special trip to St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn to see "To You, the Birdie," the Wooster Group's Pheadre, because of Mr. Kingsdale. We made a number of other trips that year to New York as a part of our senior thesis work. We got to go the Lincoln Center Library to view plays on tape that could only be viewed there. I remember writing to Mr. Kingsdale at the end of my senior year to express my thanks--he had really given us a window into the outside world, allowing the "see/ experience" part of what we were learning about in school, and it felt really important. It still does. I feel really lucky. Seven years later I still think of those experiences that formed my artistic identity. I went on to graduate school in acting, saw dozens of shows in Moscow and New York in the years to come, but those stick out as my favorite shows and experiences. I think, in retrospect, that they were once-in-a-lifetime productions, that we didn't have to miss because we were in school, but instead made a point of seeing because of the incredible generosity of Mr. Kingsdale."  - Deborah Knox '03

"The Kingsdale Fund allowed my class to travel to New York and see two Broadway productions in one day. The matinee was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and starred David Harbour '97, who arranged a talkback for us with the cast. It was so inspiring to see a recent graduate hold his own with Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin (both in the play and during the talkback). That evening, a few of us saw The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. This production has been seared in my brain since I saw it almost 5 years ago and was a huge impetus for me to choose to study playwriting in London. I introduced the play to my London classmates who hadn't already read it and it became the standard by which we based our own work. I was recently asked if I wanted to direct a production of The Pillowman and accepted without even considering the fact that I've never directed a full production before. But I trusted the play. And when I reread it, I was taken back to seeing the play on Broadway with the other members of the class of 2005 and thought about how lucky we had been to have had the opportunity to see the play. The Kingsdale fund also provided me with support for a reading of my first full-length play my senior year at Dartmouth. As a playwright, I've learned the importance of having your words read by actors and heard by an audience and that reading was crucial in understanding the play development process. I would like to thank the Kingsdale family for supporting Dartmouth theatre and providing us with these and many other opportunities to make and see theatre in Hanover and New York." - Kate Mulley '05

"I am writing to express my continued gratitude for the support you gave me while I was at Dartmouth a decade ago. I received a Kingsdale Grant in 1999 for my senior thesis production of Sondheim's Assassins. The money was used specifically to rent authentic reproductions of the guns from the various eras depicted- an essential element of the piece we could never have afforded without the grant. The show turned out to be a big success and the key reason I was given the opportunity to work with the show's original director, Jerry Zaks, in the summer after graduation. Over ten years and thirteen Broadway shows later, I continue to make a living as a director in New York. Thank you for supporting the arts and helping make the theatrical dreams of Dartmouth students come true. I am most grateful. With much appreciation, Marc Bruni '99

"The Kingsdale Fund was an incredible resource in my time as a Theater major at Dartmouth. I was able to see countless productions, in New York, on Broadway, at regional theaters around the country-- so many that I would have never had the chance to see if it were not for this generous endowment that paid for transportation and theatre tickets. Additionally, it was a large help in my final project at Dartmouth, directing and choreographing a full production of Urinetown. That was a huge undertaking, being such a big production, a musical, and entirely student-driven. It needed much more money than typical for a student production and the Kingsdale Fund was able to support me in that.

The Kingsdale Fund was incredibly beneficial to me as a student of theatre. It provided me countless opportunities to enrich myself, seeing professional theatre as well as working on productions at Dartmouth. I learned, I developed an artistic vision, and I got the chance to see and do. As an actor and director/choreographer, as a theatre student and theatre practitioner, as someone who loves both new works and classics, as someone who loves both plays and musicals, the Kingsdale Fund allowed and encouraged me (as well as many others) to thrive and grow and experience." - Josh Feder '08

"Theatre must be experienced. It is vital for all students of theater history, theory, design, and performance to be exposed to the limitless possibilities of theatricality on stage. If it were not for the Kingsdale Endowment, I would have never experienced Beckett's Happy Days, starring the brilliant Fiona Shaw, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music or the infinitely fascinating Copenhagen at the American Repertory Theater. These phenomenal productions played an integral role in my theatre education at Dartmouth and contributed greatly to my personal growth, both artistically and holistically. Thank you, Kingsdale Family, from the bottom of my heart, for these extraordinary experiences! - Meghan Wendland '08

"I certainly remember the Kingsdale fund gave the senior thesis its sense of potential. It enabled one to meet the needs that made your project yours, and in doing so helped your thinking beyond the realm of the immediate, familiar resources of the department itself. Need to dye your hair gray to write your Godot sequel? Well, maybe not, but you could ask for Kingsdale money, so you should at least think through why it feels important. Since Dartmouth, I've found that the initiative and creativity fostered by that freedom of possibility are really critical to working in theater. My best wishes to the Kingsdale family, and many thanks for helping us make senior year our own." - Dan Soule '03

"I wanted to thank the Kingsdale family personally for all that they did for me when I was an undergraduate at Dartmouth. Originally from rural Maine, I only was able to attend Dartmouth because of Dartmouth's generous financial aid package. But that package only covered the basics of the college experience, and my college years were pretty lean years as a result. I received Kingsdale grants twice as an undergraduate. The first time was to pay for transportation to NYC to see several Broadway plays. I schlepped it down to NYC via Greyhound and was able to get student rush tickets for 4 fine Broadway performances, which was a treat beyond treats for me at the time. The second grant allowed me to rent an Audrey 2 puppet for a production of Little Shop of Horrors that I was producing, directing, and, at the last minute, puppeteering in. My Little Shop of Horrors experience was very formative, as I gained invaluable management experience that I use to this day. Although being a poor kid from Maine was at times challenging at Dartmouth, the Kingsdale family's generosity allowed me to broaden my horizons, and continues to inspire me to give back a little myself. I only hope that the I can embody the same philanthropic spirit that is the Kingsdale family's enduring legacy. -Benjamin Mills '03

Last Updated: 7/13/12