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.
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.
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....
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
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.
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.
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.
Sidney had a big heart - his door was always open to everyone. The world is quite simply a sadder place without him.
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
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
Dear Mrs. Berger
I would like to express my deepest sorrow at the passing of Dr. Berger. My son Steven Metz was a student in the drama department in the 70's and participated in many of the productions, having a lead in School for Scandal and Two Gentlemen from Verona in the Shakespeare Festival. I volunteer in the theatre in Houston and on occasion when I was honored to meet Dr. Berger he always asked about Steve and was interested in what he was doing. My thoughts and prayes are with you and your family.
Mary M. Metz
I was sorry to learn from my brother, Mason Gilfoil, about the death of your beloved husband. After reading the obituary I'm really sorry I didn't know Doc.
I feel like his spirit must be near me now as I am in New York working for FEMA. I'm staying in Manhattan near Times Square and numerous theaters.
Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Mary "Buffy" Gilfoil
Dr. Berger was totally dedicated to his work as a director, and I never remember him openly admonishing any actor in the two HSF productions I worked in when he was directing. He didn't need to do that to get results. A story he always like to tell was during a tech rehearsal for Hamlet, his 5 yr. old son Eric asked him: "Dad, where is God in this play?"
Sandra - I taught today. And in my classes we honored my teacher and mentor. The profound effect he has had on the world's vision of theatre and Shakespeare will reverberate infinitely. I am profoundly saddened by your loss. I loved him.
Sandra and Erik,
I am so deeply sad. Sidney was warm and kind, smart, silly, fun,loving,hilarious. I have so many memories of great times at your house on Imogene. You guys were my second family.I love you both and send prayers for strength and peace.
Wish I could be there.Christine
I studied with Doc over multiple years as both an undergraduate and a graduate student. I consider it an honor to have worked with him -in Shakespeare, Children's Theatre and University of Houston productions. He taught me so much. I loved our chats and will miss my friend. Love you, Doc.
Sending love and light to Doc' s family. I remember my first day walking into UH, and who was the first face I saw...this beautiful man. He says" Come in my office let' s talk." I sit down and then our journey began. I had began my journey as a singer then decided to incorporate theatre into my life. He directed me into so many wonderful experiences not only in arts but in life as well. He will truly be missed. Until we meet again Doc!
As one of Jennifer Berger Young's longtime friends, I have so many great memories of my good friend Jennifer and her family. Jennifer's dad, Dr. Sidney Berger was always so welcoming and of course often cracking jokes. Such a lovable character - always teaching us something new. A family steeped in culture. My husband and I visited Sandra and Sidney in December and it was a blessing to see them both and to experience his humour and wit again. We have all been lucky to spend time together in Houston, London and Paris. The Bergers showed me and taught me so much. I'll never forget our times together. Thank you so much. Sending love and prayers. From London with love, Susan Babchick and David White
I was one of the thirty students in the University of Houston Drama Department when Dr. Berger arrived. I witnessed him transform the the sleepy little corner of the Cullen Building into a vibrant, nationally respected program. More than anything else, he taught us to believe that what we were doing, in the both the comfortable confines of the Attic Theatre and beneath the Cullen Auditorium's large proscenium arch, was important. I thank him for the wonderful memories from those early days.
in the early 2000's, Dr. Berger and his staff set up a campus visit for my daughter (theatre) and my son (creative writing) that felt more like a prestigious private college experience than an inner city public institution. My daughter was invited to participate in classes while my son spent the day with Edward Albee! I will never forget the personal attention we received. Throughout their time at UH, Dr. Berger was easily accessible, personable and warm. I am shocked and saddened by his untimely passing, which leaves a huge and deep hole in the creative community of Houston, TX. Sending my thoughts and prayers to his family.
Dear Sidney. Did you feel the love and fondness for you that your friends from Brooklyn College had all these years? You were going to Texas to work as a professor! Such a gifted actor, I thought, why abandon New York for Texas? I was young and naive and you were young and wise. You brought your gifts with you to the University and created magic like Prospero. Sandra, my heart is with you at this time and with Erik. May you know no more sorrow and may the love of friends support you now and always. With love, Mimi (Strongin) Turque-Marre. New York, New York
My condolences to your family during this time of grief.
Dear Sandra and Erik,
Our sympathies are with you. Sidney was a great man with a most generous spirit. His kindness and knowledge and compassion - I carry them with me to this day. I have always felt fortunate to be in that first acting class when arrived at the University of Houston. He became my friend and my mentor and I will always be thankful for his support and friendship. He will always be in my thoughts and prayers. The world will miss him.
Ken and Madonna Magee, Los Angeles, CA.
I don't even know how to begin to thank you for all you've done for me in my career. Your absence will leave a hole that could never possibly be filled. Thank you for not only being my mentor but my friend as well.
Love and Laughter Always
What a loss. Sid's impact on theatre cannot be measured. He was loved and respected and will be missed greatly. God bless.
What a treasured memory I have of studying with Dr. Berger.His willingness to listen to his students was incomparable. Watching him direct actors was always a collaboration of kindness and inspiration. My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Berger and Eric.
Although we never worked on the same production you were always so very supportive of the Classical Theatre Company. Your willingness to join our board and terrific advice over the years was helpful beyond words. Your legend in the theatre will last for generations.
What a marvelous legacy Sidney Berger leaves for Houston and the wider world! As founder of the Houston Shakespeare Festival and co-founder of the Shakespeare Theatre Association, he will be long remembered. His wit and his compassion will be deeply missed.
Thanks for all you did for me as a actor in training and my professional life afterwards...I will remember you always.You will be sorely missed Doc.
Dr. Berger and I shared a passion for the Bard and I was so grateful when he cast me in both HSF productions (Twelfth Night and Much Ado) & the Shakespeare Outreach Program in 1979. It was the only time we worked together but I never forgot his enthusiasm, his skill, his love for his actors and his work. Good journey, Sid. You inspired thousands.
I feel so honored to have been taught by Sidney and challenged by him in so many ways. His "love" of the arts was his operative word and at the same time his gift to all of us. Sandra and Erik - my thoughts are with you. Rest in peace Sidney.
Doc was always there when I needed him. Few people make such a strong impression on your life and Doc was certainly one of those people. I pray for peace for Sandra and Eric.
Doc will be sorely missed by all who crossed his path. He gave me my first "real" acting gig. I could never repay him for that one shot, the advice and encouragement he gave, the exposure to theatre's great actors in the classroom at UH ... And when our paths crossed again some 30 years later, he still remembered my name. To his beloved family, I wish you comfort and peace in this most trying hour.
When I arrived forty years ago as a newly minted critic, I was told, "You have to meet Sid Berger!" Sidney was my introduction to Houston's still-quiescent theater world and his vision for what it could be. He was the most memorable advocate for quality theater in Houston, being its tireless and most consistently creative force in putting itself on the national and even international scene.He was a most benign "godfather" who will be sorely missed by everyone plying the trade. I will miss him as a good friend and sometime collaborator.
He challenged me and supported me, and I am so grateful to have known him. Rest in peace, Sidney.
I am a former student of "Doc" Berger, and one who benefited by his generosity and kindness. He was larger than life. My thoughts and prayers are with Doc's family and friends.
Sandra: I really valued my relationship with Sidney, which was always friendly and collegial despite my job. I am so sorry for your loss, and I will miss my wonderful chats with Doc.
Dearest Sandra and Erik - My thoughts and heart are full of wonderful memories of times spent with the Bergers. I know that you will take care of each other and give one another strength to bear the grief that comes with this loss. You are both in my heart and I am embracing you with all of my best energy. I love you.