Alexandra Silber, who also has written both a novel and memoir, invites viewers into her home at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, for an informal conversation.
If you want to watch Michigan-raised Alexandra Silber perform musical numbers, turn to YouTube, but if you want to learn about her experiences on and off prestigious stages, turn to a digital program offered by the Society of Active Retirees (SOAR) — “A Creative Life: Finding Meaning in Theater.”
Silber, who also has written both a novel and memoir, invites viewers into her home at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, for an informal conversation.
“I’ll take any questions and discuss the role of artists in the world — and, of course, our brand-new world — which I think is a very important part of interpreting life’s meaning,” said Silber, who lives in New York City. She has appeared with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and for Cabaret 313.
“I’m excited to present for SOAR and especially for [participants] Elaine and Barry Yaker, who were friends of my deceased father, Michael,” she said. “It feels like a way to connect to a part of him I didn’t know.
“They were friends before I was born … Even though I’m an adult, I think there’s a constant awe all children have of their parents as people before them.”
Silber, 37, who grew up in Birmingham and graduated from Groves High School, had some stage training at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit and studied theater at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She earned a degree in acting from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and her theater work includes Carousel on a London stage and Master Class on Broadway.
Even amid the pandemic, she has managed live performances while adhering to health guidelines — a Rodgers and Hammerstein summer concert for the Barrington Stage in Massachusetts and a wider musical program for the Kimberly Hotel in New York.
“The hotel has balconies outside their rooms,” she described as the setting. “They asked me to sing live on a balcony while people three stories below me ate dinner.
“For the first time in many months, I could make music in New York City, and it was magical.”
Silber has come to feel more comfortable with digital commitments. She and her partner, Alec Silver, also a stage performer, are spending most of their work time teaching. She focuses on professional coaching and mentoring.
“Hopefully, this SOAR presentation will reveal that I’m a person who, in all areas of my life including my artistic self, endeavors to live by my core values, which are courage, integrity and service,” said Silber. “I try to do things that scare me or do the right thing when it’s scary or challenging, which is how I define courage.”
Silber has demonstrated her values with her book White Hot Grief Parade, which describes her experiences in coping with her father’s death when she was 18. Her other book, After Anatevka, imagines what happens to Fiddler on the Roof characters after the end of the musical in which she has appeared.
Talking about getting through the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, Silber refers to some positive experiences — quiet intervals for reading and an appreciation of the outdoors. She’s currently reading This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation by Rabbi Alan Lew.
The ideas implicit in celebrating Chanukah give Silber inspiration.
“Chanukah has been one of my favorite holidays for the metaphoric reason that it’s based on the story of fuel running out,” she explained. “I take it to mean that during the times in our lives that seem completely empty, when we don’t feel we have any literal or spiritual fuel left, we can take a leap of faith and continue on for one more minute, hour or day. We discover that the fuel is there.”
Alexandra Silber will discuss “A Creative Life: Finding Meaning in Theater” at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6. $10. For reservations, go to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (248) 626-0296.