Former theater and dance director dies
Former University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance Director Sidney Berger, 77, died Friday.
Berger was a part of the department for 40 years before retiring in 2009.
UH School of Theatre & Dance director Steve Wallace said Berger will be hard to replace.
“It is next to impossible to encapsulate Sidney Berger’s life in Houston into a few sentences. Creator, Director, Visionary, Chair, Teacher, Friend, Colleague, Passionate Shakespeare Lover, A Giant in Educational Theatre World – are all words that come to mind,” Wallace said.
He took over as director in 1969 when the School of Theatre and Dance was a small drama department. During his tenure, the small department grew into a nationally-recognized theater program.
Since 1975, Berger was a driving force behind the Houston Shakespeare Festival, which led Mayor Annise Parker to proclaim Aug. 6 as “Dr. Sidney Berger Day.”
Many stage professionals, including Hollywood actors Dennis Quaid and Jim Parsons, have come through his department.
Berger is a past recipient of the Ruth Denney Award from Theater Under the Stars, which honors stage professionals who shape young artists’ lives. In 2007, Berger was honored by U.S. Rep. Gene Green with a Congressional Record Plaque.