Former Spencertown Academy director Judy White Staber launches book

Judy White Staber

SPENCERTOWN — Spencertown Academy Arts Center will celebrate the publication of a biographical-memoir by its former executive director, Judy White Staber, at 1 p.m. Jan. 8. RISE ABOVE IT, DARLING: THE STORY OF JOAN WHITE Actor, Director, Teacher, Producer and (Sometimes) Mother, is about Staber’s mother, who was a well-known actress and teacher in the 20th century theatre world. The event will feature a reading and Q&A, followed by a reception where copies of the book will be available for purchase. For COVID safety, proof of vaccination will be required for attendance, seating will be distanced and limited, and masks will be required for audience members while in the building. The Academy has installed Blueair HealthProtect 7470 air purifiers in the auditorium. Admission is free, but advance reservations are required via www.spencertownacademy.org.

“I’m delighted to launch my new book at the Academy,” says Staber. “I served as the organization’s executive director, along with Susan Davies, from 1996 to 2004. This event feels like a homecoming and I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones there.”

An alum of the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts and discovered early on by George Bernard Shaw, Joan White was a fixture of the English-speaking theatre for more than six decades. In RISE ABOVE IT, DARLING, her youngest daughter candidly reveals that, though she was an international success, White was also a single mother who set aside her own two children for her career. Staber examines her mother’s fascinating life on stage and off, three decades of which were spent in the United States and Canada, while also interweaving her own story.

Judy White Staber was born in England to a theatrical family and moved to New York City in 1959. After a short career in the theatre as an actor and stage manager, she married and became a mother. While raising her children in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, she worked promoting the performing and visual arts. She has written, acted and produced fifteen original Pantomimes in the U.S. and also scripted and co-produced two children’s TV shows for Public Television winning several awards. In 2010, she published her memoir, SILVERLANDS: Growing Up at the Actors Orphanage.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown. For information, info@spencertownacademy.org.

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