Dale King bio
Dale King was born on January 27, 1995, in San Diego, California. His father, Cyrus, was a career Navy man who grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, where his parents still reside. Dale was the baby of the family with an older brother and two older sisters.
Cyrus loved to garden and grew enough produce year-round to feed his family as well as their friends and neighbors. His wife, Gladys, enjoyed the challenge of finding creative and appetizing ways to use all the vegetables, and she passed this love to Dale.
When 11-year-old Dale discovered the Globe Theatre during a school field trip, he was hooked. He became so entranced with the performing arts that he auditioned for a Junior Theatre production of "Babes in Arms" and was surprised to get a part in the chorus. He immediately applied to the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, and his family was delighted when he was accepted.
Dale decided on the University of Mississippi for college because it would give him some independence from his parents and siblings while he benefited from an excellent theatre arts curriculum. Plus, with his grandparents living nearby, his family wouldn't be as concerned that he was so far away.
While at Ole Miss, Dale worked part-time work at the Garden Center. When he rented a house with a yard, he planted a vegetable garden, and he especially liked the challenge of cultivating things not easily grown in Mississippi.
He supplied his friends with produce and invited them to his house for dinner made from his garden harvest. At Your Service Catering was impressed by his cooking skills and hired him on many occasions when he wasn't working at the theatre or the Garden Center.
Among his acquaintances, Dale had a reputation as a loner. When he was upset, he tended to withdraw rather than speak up. His friends often kept their distance when they sensed he was angry, which did nothing to restore his good nature and only intensified his lone wolf reputation.
After earning a BFA in theatre arts, Dale continued at Ole Miss for his MFA in stage management. There he met Andrea Stover and, through her, became interested in the Oxtales Theatrical Group. He was increasingly drawn to production staging rather than performance, so he applied to be Oxtales' assistant director and was hired.
Dale's job was to take care of the details and make Andrea's vision happen. At first, he enjoyed the work, but as time went on and Andrea's productions became more explicit, he found he preferred less controversial plays. He discussed his concerns with Owen Norris, Oxtales' main backer, but Owen was so devoted to Andrea's work that he wouldn't authorize a change in the troupe's direction unless she was on board.
After Dale was arrested for his involvement with the "Snopes" production, he accepted a plea bargain and escaped with a fine of $1,000 and 100 hours of community service. He enjoyed his service hours helping needy families establish community gardens and teaching them to grow the crops for supplemental income, but the time away from his paying jobs took a toll on his finances. Still, Dale knew it was better than prison.
When Andrea was jailed for her direction of "Snopes," Owen offered the Oxtales directorship to Dale, who accepted it eagerly. During Andrea's eighteen-month absence, Dale redirected the group's focus and staged a production, "Black Boy in the Closet," that brought critical success rather than just notoriety.
Although Dale had hoped he would retain his position when Andrea got out of prison, Owen gave the job back to Andrea, and Dale was again the assistant director even though he feels it's often a waste of his creative talents.