Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Inspired by a college professor to pursue a career in theatre education, Robert Geuder began his teaching career in the little Iowa crossroads town of Nashua in 1955. Beginning in 1959 he was drama director and teacher of theatre, language arts, and speech at Thomas Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and he had sponsored Thespian Troupe 561 for each of his thirty-six years as a teacher at the time of his Hall of Fame induction. Mr. Geuder’s colleagues, friends, and former students describe him as energetic, caring, selfless, committed to quality, and, above all, a gifted teacher who instills in his students a love of theatre by his passionate example. In addition to teaching and directing five shows a year at Jefferson, he directed and costumed shows for a Cedar Rapids community theatre with assistance from his wife Alo. He also produces annual fundraising revues for the Cedar Rapids Symphony and a local hospital.
Mr. Geuder has been a national leader in educational theatre since 1974, when he was elected to the Thespian Society Board of Directors after serving five years as a regional director and two years as state director for Iowa. He became assistant international director in 1976 and served as international director (the office now called president) during 1978-80. In 1986 he became the first individual to be re-elected to the organization’s board, and served on the EdTA transitional board in 1989 and 1990. At the time of his induction he was the EdTA governing board’s executive regional director.
Throughout his career Mr. Geuder has made valuable contributions to ITS and EdTA national events. He attended every Thespian Festival between 1968 and his 1991 induction and co-directed six main stage shows. In 1989 he received the EdTA President’s Award.