SIU mourns loss of theater department professor, James Thomas Kidd

James Thomas Kidd, Associate Professor of Directing/Acting.

Courtesy of SIU

James Thomas Kidd, Associate Professor of Directing/Acting.

By Staff Report, News Desk

Professor James Thomas Kidd, of SIU’s theater department, passed away Monday.

Kidd served as a member of SIU’s faculty since 2003, he was the managing artistic director of the McLeod Summer Playhouse and the most recent chair of the department before the position was taken on by Olusegun Ojewuyi.

“Tom Kidd was a valuable member of our Department of Theater and the SIU family. He was known to have consistently given the best of his talent, knowledge and humanity,” Ojewuyi said in a release about Kidd’s death. 


Kidd taught acting, directing, audition techniques and freshman theater seminar. He also helped to produce several productions with SIU including: The Secret Garden, Reasons to be Pretty, Shakespeare’s R & J, Bat Boy and The Three Musketeers. For the McLeod Summer Playhouse he helped to choreograph and produce Hair, All Shook Up, May Fair Lady, Chicago, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as well as other productions. 

“He was an exceptional director and manager – directing, choreographing, and producing many of the great Broadway musicals that graced our McLeod Theater stage in his two decades at SIU,” Ojewuyi said. “He worked tirelessly to bring the best Theatrical performances to our Southern Illinois Community. For many students and alumni, he was more than a professor, he was a servant-leader, mentor and dependable support.”

Monday morning, Kidd participated in the theater department’s end-of-semester Zoom meeting. 

“With Christmas wishes shared, we finished in time for his scheduled rehab, to continue healing after a recent heart bypass surgery. It was there, he passed,” Ojewuyi said in the release.

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