Roberta Barber Eggart, stage manager for Provincetown Theater productions as the long-time personal assistant to Michael Sottile, died peacefully on Jan. 26, 2022. Her death was confirmed by her daughter, but the family provided no cause or place of death, nor Roberta’s birth date.
The daughter of Robert and Doris Barber of Wellfleet, Roberta was born in Bayside, N.Y. She graduated from Bayside High School in 1960 and attended Hunter College from 1960 to 1962, where she studied drama and stagecraft.
After she left college, Roberta worked as a dancer and actress. She had a small role in the first Godfather film. Her interest in Haitian dance led to study in Haiti and performances in New York.
In 1967, she married the actor, director, and producer Harry Eggart, who directed the television soap opera The Guiding Light for 18 years. In 1986, Roberta and Harry moved to Westport, Conn. She worked with the Paul Hall Contemporary Dance Theater in New Haven.
When Roberta and Harry relocated to the Barber family home in Wellfleet, she took a job as stage manager for writer and musician Michael Sottile’s production of Derin Brockovich at the Provincetown Theater. Following that collaboration, she became his assistant, reading and editing scripts and traveling to Los Angeles and New York to assist with rehearsals for upcoming productions, Sottile said.
Roberta took care of more than the nuts and bolts of theatrical work, he added. She would always “remind me of my worth as an artist — encouraging me to keep going, to keep writing — and always with respect, kindness, patience and a deep yet quiet love.”
Sottile added that she was an exceptional human being, “a giver of hope.”
Roberta’s daughters Jessica and Katherine and her son Casey provided a statement on their mother’s death, writing of her as a “writer, dancer, sister, mother of three, widow, comedy texter, giver of gift cards to strangers, and collector of stray humans.” She is missed by all who interacted with her, they wrote.
Roberta did not wish to have a funeral. A celebration of her life will be announced. For now, the family asks that friends “light a candle and wish her well.”