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“Sir Tyrone Guthrie would tell any actor or writer in crisis to ‘Rise Above It!’ Taking a cue from Guthrie, her mentor and friend, Joan too advised students or actors
in difficulty to ‘Rise Above It, Darling.’ When she had to literally ‘rise above it’ in Alice in Wonderland, it seemed a fitting title for this book”
Judy Staber writes; ”I was born during World War Two 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 but, who was fully immersed in her profession, 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.
It was a fascinating life of a woman who for sixty-five years was a hardworking thespian in both the British and North American worlds of Theatre.
Judy Staber has worked in the visual and performing arts for all her American life. In 2010, she published her memoir Silverlands Growing Up at the Actors Orphanage. With her children and grandchildren grown, she lives in beautiful upstate New York with her husband John, a pilot and flight instructor, where she writes, volunteers, enjoys gardening and walking their dog.