Arts and Living Editor
Northwestern State University professor Philip Kidd died on Feb. 16 of this year.
Kidd’s career at NSU began in 2002 when he held the role of theater shop foreman. In 2003, he became the assistant professor of theater and the director of technical theater.
Over the course of his career, Kidd designed sets and held the position of technical director for over 30 Department of Theatre and Dance productions. Kidd also worked on many shows as a charge artist, technical advisor, shop foreman and props master.
LB Slater, senior theater major, was one of Kidd’s students.
“I could never thank Phil enough for what he did for me as a student. If it wasn’t for his help, I would not be very far in my career as I am now,” Slater said. “There was a point in my life that I didn’t know what I wanted do in theater but with his guidance I found my passion in props and carpentry.”
Robert Richoux, assistant professor of technical theater, was taught by Kidd during his time as a student at NSU. Richoux has worked with Kidd at NSU for the past four years.
Richoux is now part of a memorial group of over 300 people who share photos, stories and quotes from Kidd.
“My favorite memory and the biggest challenge was when he was bitten by a spider on his behind and was out for a month or so when I was a student,” Richoux said.
Richoux said that his absence forced the student technicians like himself to step up and try their best to prepare for the show to run smoothly.
“I think we rose to the challenge and made him proud,” Richoux said. “When he got back, we decorated his office with spider related things, including a spider pillow for him to sit on. He enjoyed that welcome back, he had a great sense of humor.”
An obituary written by Scott Burrell, assistant director of creative and performing arts, said that Kidd was a dedicated faculty member, a caring and giving mentor, a passionate teacher and a gifted artist.
“Phil will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Especially by the students who were ‘his kids.’ Many have graduated and become professionals in the world of technical theater and design. A number have gone on to get their graduate degrees and are now teaching their ‘own kids’ the lessons learned in Phil’s scene shop,” his obituary said.
“He taught me a lot of skills that I use in every show I work on, and I hope to share in professional theater,” Slater said.
Kidd inspired many coworkers and students throughout his career, and his legacy will live on through the memories and art he left behind.
“Some students left NSU and took different paths in their lives, but regardless, Phil’s influence remains with them in his many witticisms on life ‘work smarter, not harder,’ ‘stop thinking,’ ‘you can do this’ and ‘so many more,” Burrell said.
A memorial service for Kidd was held on Friday, March 5, in the Student Union Ballroom.