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In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Patricia Sternberg

It is with great sadness that we write of the death of Professor Emeritus Patricia Sternberg, member of the Theatre Department faculty from 1978 to 2005 on June 23, 2013 in Florida. Her three children David, Ruth and Annie were by her side at the time of her passing.

Pat was the author of many plays for young audiences. The performances she directed in the Loewe Theatre were often the first theatre  experience for many of the city's underprivileged public school children, an audience she cultivated through her commitment to public outreach. Long before Disability Studies were on the horizon, Pat devoted her life to issues of accessibility in performance.

Believing that theatre was the route to achieving your full expressive potential no matter the physical limitation, she gave acting classes for Hunter's disabled students in coordination with the Office of AccessABILITY in addition to her full-time teaching in the Theatre Department. She taught her colleagues to be disability-blind by example, as she cast students from those classes in the 27 productions she directed at Hunter. Pat was devoted to the role of Theatre in Education, and many of Hunter's Education students took her graduate classes in Creative Dramatics and Theatre for Youth.

Pat was a certified Drama Therapist who believed in the healing power of theatre. Her many books on the subject, notably Sociodrama: Who's in Your Shoes? and Theatre for Conflict Resolution: In the Classroom and Beyond, remain the classic texts in the field. The Theatre Department and her devoted former students mourn the loss of her generous and loving spirit. A memorial service will be held for her in the fall in the Loewe Theatre.

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