OBITUARY

Sidney Louis Berger

January 25, 1936February 15, 2013
Play Tribute Movie

Sidney Berger, Ph.D. (Doc) was born in the Lower East side of Manhattan, NY on January 25, 1937 and passed away in Kingwood, TX on Friday, February 2013 after a short illness. He attended Brooklyn College earning a BA in Theatre followed by a Masters and a Doctorate in Theatre at the University of Kansas where he met the love of his life, Sandra Hopkins. They married in 1963 and moved to Michigan State University, E. Lansing where Doc was a director and Director of Graduate Studies. In 1969 they moved to Houston where Doc took over as Chairman of the Drama Department at the University of Houston. When he retired 38 years later he had transitioned the fledgling department into a nationally respected and highly esteemed School of Theatre and Dance. Doc taught a full load of classes each semester and directed at least one show per academic year. During the summers he not only taught but also Founded, Produced and Directed the Houston Shakespeare Festival in Hermann Park as well as Co-founding and Directing the Children’s Theatre Festival. In order to celebrate, honor and share his most favored playwright, Dr. Berger Co-Founded the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America in January, 1991. The organization was established to provide a forum for theatres whose central activity is the production of Shakespeare’s plays. Doc was the first President of the organization, which thrives internationally today. Dr. Berger had two great passions, teaching and William Shakespeare. His beginning Shakespeare classes were always filled to capacity, leaving his students begging for Advanced Bard classes. His office door was always open, making him accessible to any student who needed one-on-one encouragement or assistance with a class project or play in which they had been cast. Sidney Berger understood his students’ deep passion for Theatre. He understood this so well that he tenaciously and steadily brought well-known artists and technicians to the School of Theatre and Dance. Pulitzer Prize winners Edward Albee and Lanford Wilson, Tony Award winners Stuart Ostrow and Sir Peter Hall, Costume Designer Desmond Heeley and actress Elizabeth Ashley are among the many luminaries that Doc convinced to share their skills and talent, giving the students the opportunity to grow under the tutelage of sages in their chosen field. Because he shared his knowledge, his vision, his tenacity and his generosity of spirit and wisdom, there are thousands of Doc’s former students throughout Texas, the United States and around the globe who attribute their achievements and successes to the man who wed Theatre and Shakespeare in the School of Theatre and Dance, Sidney “Doc” Berger. Dr. Berger was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Pauline Berger, his daughter, Jennifer Berger Young and her husband, Mark Young. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sandra and their son, Erik. Visitation for friends and family will be held at Kingwood Funeral Home from 10:00 am – noon on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, immediately followed by a service. Burial will be at Brookside Memorial Park after the noon service.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, February 19, 2013
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, February 19, 2013
REMEMBERING

Sidney Louis Berger

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Jack Koch

March 13, 2014

Dear Sandra and Erik,
I'm so sorry for your loss. What a truly, truly wonderful man! Doc was the kind, patient, caring, understanding father I always wanted. I suppose that was true for many of us who studied under him.
His office door was almost as open as his heart and no matter how busy he was he'd find time for you. I know this because I was one of his more demanding students.
By the way, I love the picture you chose. It's how I'll always remember him.
I was truly blessed to be able to study under Doc. And I miss him dearly.
Take him for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again.
My deepest sympathies.
Sincerely,
Jack Koch

Jeffrey Brothen

April 4, 2013

I will miss you Sidney, but as your favorite playwright once said, “Death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” Your lifetime of work, however, will live on in all the people whose lives you've touched, and the theatre is much richer for it. Life itself is much richer for it. My life you changed forever. For that I will always be greatful. So, my friend, there is nothing more to say except, goodnight, sweet prince;and flights of angles sing thee to thy rest.

Yosifah

March 6, 2013

He Loved our craft with a repectful passion.He would walk up to the actor and whisper directions or direct with an open hand.You worked with him and not for him,and he would always say to me ''If your in for the penny,your in for the pound''.God bless your family Doc....

Deborah Hope

March 4, 2013

Thank you for the inspiration, guidance, faith, humor, patience and knowledge. You opened up a whole new world to me. I will be forever grateful that you shone a light in my direction for a brief moment. You will be sorely missed, Doc. Deborah Hope

Monica Pizanie

February 24, 2013

Sandra and Erik,
I'm so sorry to hear about Sidney's passing. Your family is a large part of my childhood and I have fond memories of all the great times at your Imogene house. Your were a second family to me growing up. Sidney was a kind man who clearly lived his life to the fullest.

Fred Adams

February 23, 2013

Dear Sandra, Erik and Friends of Sid:
We were saddened to hear of Sid's passing. We'll always remember his dedication to Shakespeare. As a friend and colleague, we'll miss his leadership in our small Shakespeare world. We send you our condolances and please know that we'll think of Sid often and fondly.

Fred C. Adams, R. Scott Phillips and all of his friends at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Kelly Babb

February 22, 2013

Doc took a chance on me almost thirty years ago. I was coming off academic probation and changing majors. Instead of laughing in my face, he signed to let me become a theatre major. My life was forever changed. I received both a BA and a MFA from UH. It was my honor to work twenty years with him at the Houston Shakespeare Festival. I watched him touch thousands of lives as a teacher, and hundreds of thousands of lives in the audiences of his productions. The world has been blessed to have him in it. He will be missed.

Karen Stokes

February 22, 2013

Sidney had a big heart - his door was always open to everyone. The world is quite simply a sadder place without him.

Bob Cozens

February 21, 2013

http://youtu.be/zT4b5yCrzgw

Check the video on YouTube and remember my mate Sid.

I recorded the video last year. Just siting passing the time.

I'll miss you my friend

February 20, 2013

Dear Sandra - Profoundly saddened at Sidney's passing. Though I only worked for the Festivals at UH for a year, he was a cheering, creative, learned, witty, comforting life teacher and boss. I have heard of him subsequently from others like myself in whom he generated loyalty, friendship and affection, so my memories have been reinforced indelibly. He nurtured the Drama Dept. to its current distinction as he nurtured his students and colleagues. I'm privileged to have known him.
All my sympathy to you and Eric.
Jenifer (Blair) McDermott