Alumni Memories: June 13

Alumnus Todd Nonnenberg BA '96 recounts a particularly memorable day in Paul Backer's class.

Paul Backer teaching a class at SDA.

For #SDA75, we’re looking back on our fondest memories, from alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, donors and friends: this collage was submitted by alumnus Todd Nonnenberg BA ’96, about a particularly memorable day in class.

Paul Backer (rest his soul) and his history lesson of Theatre of the Absurd will forever live in my memory. I was late on this day, and when I arrived to Taper Hall, I observed a sign on our usual class door saying in all caps, “THIS IS NOT A DOOR!” My first thought was, “maybe I have the wrong classroom?” 

Eventually, I decided to give the door a go. When I opened the door, Paul was standing there in a raincoat and rain hat just looking at me, the awkwardness of being late to class already in the air, and a classroom full of students staring at me (mostly cracking smiles in response to the befuddled look on my face).

There was a pregnant pause and then Paul shouted emphatically at me, “didn’t you see the sign?”

I sheepishly said, “sorry.”

Paul replied “Don’t let it happen again. Now please take your seat.

I remember a few times Paul pausing in the middle of the lesson, opening his umbrella, putting it over his shoulder and just staring at us in silence for a moment to help illustrate the style. It was by far one of the most memorable days ever in a classroom and I will treasure it for as long as I live.

Share your memories with us!

Celebrating Over 75 Years SDA Logo

To help celebrate our 75th anniversary, the School of Dramatic Arts is collecting memories from our community to share during our year-long celebration. Submit your stories from your time at SDA through words, images or videos. #SDA75