Nearly 125 adoring fans of drama teachers Mark Lindberg and George Serries gathered at the Upper School Theater on Monday, December 9, to celebrate the naming of The Lindberg – Serries Theater, honoring a 55-year legacy of theater excellence at Browne & Nichols and BB&N.
The naming recognizes gifts from two anonymous donors to BB&N’s Opening Minds Campaign, who used their gifts to honor these faculty legends. George Serries taught theater, English, and French at B&N and BB&N from 1964 to 1982, turning over the reins of the theater department to Mark Lindberg who led the program from 1982 to 2019.
The alumni/ae, current and former faculty and staff, and current and past parents shared memories of Mark and George on a large chalkboard wall outside the theater, and heard tributes from Lydia Vagts ’81, Lewis Wheeler ’87, and Upper School Dean of Students Rory Morton ’81.
In her tribute to Serries, Vagts noted, “George Serries taught me how to overcome my fear of speaking in public. I make lots of presentations and teach classes, and I credit Mr. Serries with teaching me how to do that with confidence.” In their tributes to Lindberg, both Wheeler and Morton commented on Lindberg’s natural ability to mentor students and bring out the best in them. “The memories that come to mind for me whenever I enter this theater won’t really be about you specifically or the many wonderful productions you were responsible for. Instead it will be of the many students whose lives you managed to impact in such a positive and transformative fashion,” said Morton. Wheeler added, “Mark created a safe place where collaboration and exploration and respect were always the priority. Here in the theater, everyone was welcome. Those of us on the fringes of the social structure…found a safe harbor.”
It was clear from the moving and humorous tributes that along with directing high quality and challenging performances over more than five decades, both of these faculty “giants” had been transformational in the lives of their students and colleagues.
After sharing his own memories and expressing deep gratitude at this honor, Lindberg joined Head of School Dr. Jennifer Price in unveiling the plaque that will be installed outside the theater.
Click here for a photo gallery from the event.
See below for a video of Lindberg’s remarks: