NEW HAVEN, CT - Earle R. Gister passed away in his sleep on January 22, 2012. He was born on March 30, 1934, in Racine, to Bennie and Violet Gister. He attended school in Racine and graduated from Washington Park High School in 1952. He graduated from Carleton College in 1956. He married Glynda Ogelsby on November 6, 1959; she predeceased him in December 2010. Widely hailed as one of Americas foremost acting teachers, Gister played key roles in actor training programs at North Carolina School of the Arts, The Juilliard School, Carnegie Mellon University, City College of New York, Yale University
, the British American Drama Academy and The Actors Center. He was a Master Acting Teacher and was particularly known for his insight into the work of Chekhov. Gister joined Yale in 1979 and for a total of 19 years he served as associate dean of academic affairs and chair of the M.F.A. Acting Program. He retired in 1999. In 1991, Gister shared a Tony Award on behalf of the Yale School of Drama and the Yale Repertory Theatre. He was a co-founder of the League of Professional Theatre Training Programs, an adviser to the National Endowment for the Arts, and co-chair of the training panel of Theatre Communications Group. Gister is survived by three sons, Carey (Cynthia) Gister of San Francisco, California, Brian (Erica) Gister of New York City, New York, and Andrew Gister of New Haven, Connecticut, and two grandchildren, Reed and Zoe Gister. He is further survived by a sister, Phyllis (Stuart) Svoboda of DeForest, Wisconsin; a brother, Kerry (Beth) Gister of Surprise, Arizona; a niece, Laurie Svoboda Wegger, and two nephews, Ryan (Alison) Gister and Mark (Allison) Gister; an uncle Martin (Florence) Gister of Racine, and several cousins; and many friends and former students. A memorial service is scheduled for a later date.