Hal Ryder was a much-loved and influential member of the early Drama Studio London family.
Born Hal Rosenblatt in 1950, he studied Theatre at the University of Washington, in Seattle. He trained as an actor at DSL in 1972, and became a lifelong friend of Peter Layton, the Studio’s Founder and former Executive Director.
After his training, Hal stayed on in London and produced shows at the Mercury Theatre, in Notting Hill, employing many former DSL students over the years.
Hal returned to the States in 1975, where he produced over 37 plays in Orlando, Florida. Peter then invited Hal to run the newly opened Drama Studio London at Berkeley, in California, which he ran for two years, before relocating to Seattle , where he was based for the rest of his life.
He worked for 33 years at Cornish College of the Arts and was an active free-lance director, working in among other places, Juneau, Alaska. Hal’s love of language- Shakespeare in particular - made him a popular teacher, and many students remained close friends with him after they graduated.
Hal travelled to Yemen to teach, and frequently re-visited DSL to teach and direct. Upon his retirement in 2015, Hal continued to work free-lance as a teacher and director.
Friends will remember his wit, his kindness, his generosity of spirit, and an incredible ability to post the funniest cartoons on his Facebook page.
He passed away in hospice care after a short illness, surrounded by his friends and family. Our condolences go out to all who loved and remember him.