Jean Van Kirk Dalrymple (September 5, 1902 – November 15, 1998) was an American theater producer, manager, publicist, and playwright who was instrumental in the founding of New York City Center and is best known for her productions there.
Dalrymple was born in Morristown, New Jersey on September 5, 1902 to an affluent couple, George, a concert manager, and Elizabeth (née Collins) Dalrymple. As a teenager, she worked as a stenographer on Wall Street and then had a vaudeville act on the Keith-Albee-Orpheum circuit with Dan Jarrett. She began working as a press agent for the theater producer John L. Golden, and wrote a play, Salt Water.
Dalrymple served on the Board of City Center, and in the 1980s, was president of the Light Opera of Manhattan. At City Center, she produced revivals of such works as Our Town; Porgy and Bess; Othello (starring Paul Robeson and Jose Ferrer); A Streetcar Named Desire (starring Uta Hagen and Anthony Quinn); Pal Joey (with Bob Fosse and Viveca Lindfors); King Lear (with Orson Welles), and many others.
Dalrymple's written works include The Quiet Room: a play in three acts (1958); September Child; the story of Jean Dalrymple (1963 autobiography); Careers and Opportunities in the Theatre (1969), and From The Last Row: A personal account of the first twenty-five years of the New York City Center of Music and Drama.
In 1932, Dalrymple married New York Sun theater critic Ward Morehouse. That marriage ended in divorce. In 1951, she married Major General Philip De Witt Ginder. She had no children and left no immediate survivors.
Dalrymple died in 1998 at her apartment on West 55th Street, across the street from City Center Theater, aged 96, following a battle with cancer.
She is buried at West Point Cemetery, next to her second husband.
- "Jean Dalrymple, Persuasive Dreamer Who Brought Theater to City Center, Dies at 96", nytimes.com, November 17, 1998]
- Frank Cullen, Florence Hackman, and Donald McNeilly. Vaudeville, Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America. New York: Routledge, 2007.
- Biodata, archives.nypl.org; accessed August 16, 2015.
- From The Last Row: A personal account of the first twenty-five years of the New York City Center of Music and Drama. James T. White and Company Publishers, Clifton, New Jersey (1975).
- September Child, the story of Jean Dalrymple, autobiography by Jean Dalrymple, Dodd, Mead & Company 1963 Library of Congress #63-13557.
- Profile, WorldCat.org; retrieved September 30, 2008.
- "Jean Dalrymple Wed", New York Times, March 31, 1932.
- Obituary, Ginder, General Philip DeWitt. The New York Times. November 11, 1968
- Obituary, nydailynews.com; accessed August 16, 2015.
- Faith Stewart-Gordon. The Russian Tea Room: A Love Story. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999; p. 145
- IBDb profile
- IMDb profile
- Jean Dalrymple papers, 1932-1979 and undated, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts