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Watkinson School alumnus and Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Holdovers

March 5, 2024 | Watkinson School proudly presents An Evening with David Hemingson on Tuesday, April 9th.  Mr. Hemingson, a Watkinson School alumnus from the class of 1982 and a Connecticut native, is a veteran television writer who in 2023 made one of the most astonishing feature film debuts in recent memory as screenwriter and producer of Focus Features’s widely acclaimed The Holdovers, directed by Oscar-winner Alexander Payne. The evening will include an exclusive VIP Dinner with Mr. Hemingson at 5pm, followed by a conversation with Mr. Hemingson at 7pm. The evening is a fundraiser for Grace Scholars at Watkinson, a fund to enable 8th-grade graduates of Hartford’s Grace Academy to enroll at Watkinson for high school. The events take place on Watkinson’s campus at 180 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford.

Following its world premiere at Telluride, The Holdovers immediately became an awards juggernaut, earning five Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Screenplay for Hemingson’s work and Best Picture. Hemingson’s screenplay has been a focal point of the film’s considerable acclaim, netting him a staggering 37 nods from critic associations and awards bodies, including a BAFTA nomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the National Board of Review’s Best Original Screenplay award.

Watkinson’s Head of School Teri Schrader states, “We are beyond thrilled to welcome Dave back to his home here at Watkinson, where even as a young writer, he distinguished himself as an emerging artist in our Creative Arts Program. We can’t wait!”

A Hollywood mainstay for nearly three decades, Hemingson’s prolific television work includes an impressive range of writing and producing credits across single- and multi- camera sitcoms, one-hour dramas, procedurals, young adult series, animation, and more.

Among his television highlights, he created, executive produced, and wrote the Fox comedy series, Kitchen Confidential, based on Anthony Bourdain’s memoir and starring Bradley Cooper. The pilot earned Hemingson a WGA Award nomination for ‘Outstanding Episodic Comedy’. He also wrote and produced series as diverse as Whiskey Cavalier, Just Shoot Me, American Dad, Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, Black-ish, and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, among many others.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised in West Hartford, Hemingson attended Watkinson School in Hartford before going on to earn his BA in American Studies from Yale University, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, and then a law degree from Columbia University. After a brief tenure in the entertainment department of a prominent Century City law firm, he transitioned to television writing full-time starting in 1995. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, the writer Victoria Morsell Hemingson. They are the proud parents of two sons, Nicholas and Ian.

The Grace Scholars at Watkinson fund was created in 2018 by founding donors Janice and David Klein. In the last decade, Watkinson has funded seven Grace Academy graduates and provided more than $800,000 in financial aid to Grace students.

Ticket Information:

$25 — 7:00pm Conversation with Mr. Hemingson

$200 — 5:00pm VIP Dinner with Mr. Hemingson and Conversation

Tickets are available at All seating is general admission.

Watkinson School, Hartford’s oldest independent school, is a coed day school for grades 6-12/PG. Our next info session for prospective students is April 5, 2024.

Jenni French, Dir. of Comm