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1992 › Sidney Berger
14th Farfel Recipient

Director - School of Theatre
Professor of Theatre, John and Rebecca Moores Scholar
College of Humanities, Fine Arts, and Communication

This year Professor Sidney L. Berger celebrates his 30th year at the University of Houston. When he arrived here in 1969, having earned his doctorate from the University of Kansas, he set to work immediately to develop the fledgling theatre department. In the years to come, he would bring some of the most famous names in American theatre to the University of Houston. Indeed, the strides Dr. Berger has made in the last 30 years have benefited not only the University of Houston, but the cultural life of the greater Houston area as well.

Dr. Berger lists among his successes the creation of the Houston Shakespeare Festival (1975) as well as the University of Houston Children’s Theatre Festival (1978), two programs that continue to enjoy great popularity throughout all of Houston. In addition, he has directed over 100 theatrical performances, as well as several films, and has written a number of scripts for both television and cinema.

But despite these many successes, Dr. Berger counts the Esther Farfel Award among his highest career achievements:“Receiving the Farfel was an acknowledgment that the arts are of paramount importance to this university. That acknowledgment was a vote of faith in what we do here.” He continues, “You’ve got to keep in mind that in theatre, the work we do is really ephemeral: when I direct a production, it’s gone when the production is over save in the hearts and minds of its viewers. So when I was given this honor, I considered it an affirmation of the work I do. Having received it was truly an extraordinary and moving experience.”

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