The University of Houston lost one of its visionary pioneers recently when Dr. Sidney Berger, longtime director of the School of Theatre and Dance, passed away at the age of 77. He leaves behind a legacy rich in contributions to education and the arts.
In over four decades with the University of Houston, Dr. Berger was integral in growing the School of Theatre and Dance to the preeminent program it has become, adding award-winning playwrights to its faculty and forging unique relationships with the larger, thriving Houston theatre community. Among his accomplishments Dr. Berger founded and served as director for the Houston Shakespeare Festival, co-founded and served as producer for the Children’s Theatre Festival, and directed at the Alley Theatre as an Associate Artist.
In his contributions to research, Dr. Berger was responsible for helping the UH Libraries acquire the papers of Cheryl Crawford, co-founder of the Group Theatre and Broadway director, and Jose Quintero, co-founder of Circle in the Square Theatre and the director who helmed the Eugene O’Neill revival.
In 1999-2000, Dr. Berger and Pat Bozeman, Head of Special Collections, co-curated the exhibition Long Day’s Journey Into Light: Theatre Master, Jose Quintero at M.D. Anderson Library. He was a cherished friend and colleague in education and will certainly be missed.