Retired prof-thespian dies backstage during Cité performance

Bob Sidman

The Lafayette theater-arts community is mourning the loss of one of its own. Dr. Robert Sidman, a professor emeritus of mathematics at UL Lafayette and longtime actor in local theater productions, died Saturday evening while backstage at Cité des Arts during a performance of Lauren-Reilly Eliott Company’s production of The Odd Couple.

According to information provided by the acting troupe, Sidman had been ill last weekend “but felt ready to return to stage this weekend.” Emergency responders were called to the theater on Vine Street in Downtown Lafayette but were unable to resuscitate Sidman.

“Bob has been a reliable fixture in the local theatre scene for more than thirty years,” says Maureen Brennan, Cité founder and executive director. “He was great fun to work with and always a great cheerleader for his cast members. He and his wife Patricia attended so many other plays, beyond the ones he acted in, and continued to encourage his peers. He’s been a mentor to oh so many grad students, a friend and mentor to me and to my children, nd to many, many more.”

The troupe cancelled Sunday’s matinee performance of the Neil Simon comedy. The production will resume this weekend.