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Meet the Chair: Andrew Ryder

Andrew Ryder
I still can’t believe I get paid to play. Teaching theatre is a great job, filled with human interaction, variety, and learning new things. You — and we — will grow and change because you are here. That is what ensemble is all about: working together and growing through the experiences we share.

I became an educator because I wanted to keep learning, and because of my teachers. Mrs. Rummer cast a freshman in a lead role. Dr. Radaker pushed me to refine my writing. Dr. Borders let me teach undergraduates. Professor Rutledge made me mad so I worked harder than I ever had. Dr. Shields allowed me to teach, act, and direct as a graduate student. Each cared about me as a person, and expected success. I aspire to do the same for my students.

I have directed a variety of plays during my years at SPU, from Greek tragedy to Shakespeare to Broadway musicals. Directing is teaching: communicating and shaping a vision through the talent and commitment of many others. You can't do it alone!

So we are thrilled to welcome you to the SPU Theatre ensemble. This collaborative group extends from the artists on stage and backstage to each and every member of the audience.

Our faculty features dedicated artists committed to your growth and success. These include full-time faculty and local professionals who join us as guest artists and part-time instructors to share their expertise and connections.

To create our five annual productions, we rely on the participation of dozens of students from across campus, many of them nonmajors. We hope to see you in our rehearsal halls and workshops, no matter your major. For majors, our production program provides an intensive “laboratory” experience to hone your developing skills.

The Theatre major intentionally integrates production and performance. You may concentrate on Performance, Production, or P–12 Education. Throughout the curriculum, you will participate in courses and projects that emphasize performance, production, or both. The culmination will be your Senior Project, creatively expressing all you have learned as a theatre artist at Seattle Pacific.

When you leave, you will make a difference in whatever career you choose, using the skills of human interaction, time management, artistry, and self-discipline practiced through your work in theatre.

So welcome to the SPU Theatre ensemble. We’re glad you’re here!

Andrew D. Ryder
Chair and Professor of Theatre

Andrew Ryder - Why I Teach

Why I Teach at SPU

Andrew Ryder, Professor of Theatre; Theatre Chair

“I teach at SPU because I believe strongly in the importance of Christian liberal arts education. Studying the arts in such an environment allowed me to wrestle with important questions, because I trusted my professors and their perspectives. I work hard to develop and maintain with my students the same trust and openness to questions.”

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