Proof of COVID-19 vaccination with ID is required for this performance.
Masks are mandatory at The Unicorn Theatre.
Judy White Staber reads from her new book, Rise Above It, Darling, a biographical memoir about her mother, Joan White, who worked for sixty-five years in the theatre both in England and North America. Joan White was artistic director of the former Berkshire Playhouse from 1960 to 1964 where Judy herself acted in several productions. After the 30-minute reading by the author, there will be a question and answer period, both inside The Unicorn Theatre. These will be followed by a book signing outside on the Unicorn patio.
About the book Judy writes, “I was born during World War II to an actress mother and theatre manager father in London. At war’s end, Father left the family and my sister Susannah and I were put in The Actors’ Orphanage. I was four and Susannah, seven. When I was eleven, Mother and Susannah emigrated to North America. After twelve years at the Orphanage, I too went to America and entered the family business—the theatre.”
“I realize this biography has a different slant, with Mother’s life discovered by her daughter rather than ‘as told to…’ This is not a memoir, except where I am directly involved. It is the true story of a woman who was my mother, who was fully immersed in her profession, but often to the detriment of her daughters. When I began to write this book, I was only vaguely aware of the depth and breadth of her achievements.”
“Most people remember the names of a few well-publicized stars. Yet it is the work of talented and dedicated performers like Joan White, working constantly in major and minor roles and, as mentors and teachers, who support a vibrant theatre world.”
About the Author
Judy White Staber was born into a theatrical family during World War II. She came to America in 1959 and has worked in the visual and performing arts for all her American life. After a career in the theatre as an actor and stage manager she married actor Colgate Salsbury and became a mother. They moved to the little town of Housatonic in the Berkshires. Once the children were in school, she worked briefly as a journalist and then began a career in public relations first in 1978 with the newly formed Shakespeare & Company. In 1985 she formed Salsbury Ziglar Marketing Associates in Lenox with Steven Ziglar. With the agency, her focus was on the Arts, promoting The Berkshire Museum, The Williamstown Art Conservation Center, Music Theatre Group and The Berkshire Theatre Festival. She and Steve handled Tourism Publicity for the Berkshire Visitors Bureau. In the late 1980s, she went to Boston as Cultural Tourism Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and then subsequently returned to the Berkshires where she continued in arts promotion.
In 1990 and 1992, she co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning Grover’s Corner with David Grover and Terry a la Berry for WGBY-TV. From 1996 through 2004, she was executive director for the Spencertown Academy, a Columbia County Center for the Arts. Also during that time, she formed The PantoLoons with a group of actors who, for fifteen years, put on a British American Pantomime every Thanksgiving. After the first four productions, The PantoLoons moved on to The Ghent Playhouse. While at the Playhouse she also directed a well-received production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. In 2010, she published her memoir Silverlands: Growing Up at the Actors’ Orphanage.
Judy is a founding member of The Berkshire Arts Alliance through which she met John Staber, a Board member of the Berkshire Scenic Railway who she married in 1991. She has served on several not-for-profit Boards, curated an art gallery in Old Chatham and seen her poetry published. With her children and grandchildren grown, she lives in beautiful upstate New York with her husband John, a retired pilot and flight instructor, where she writes, volunteers, enjoys gardening and walking their dog.