August W. Staub
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home - East Chapel
4355 Lexington Road
Athens, GA
Athens - August Staub ,theatre director, producer, historian and Professor Emeritus of drama at the University of Georgia, died April 19th at his home in Athens, Georgia. His wife Patricia Staub and daughter Laurel Melicent Staub were with him at the time of his death.
Gus was a leader in educational theatre in America. Born in New Orleans in 1931, he received his B.A., M.A., and PhD from Louisiana State University. Subsequently, he taught at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Florida. In 1964 he joined the faculty of the University of New Orleans where he organized and chaired the Department of Drama and Communication. In 1976 he accepted the post of Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre at the University of Georgia. He retired in 1996. His career in educational theatre was unbroken during his lifetime except for a period in the early 1950s when he served as an officer in the U.S. Army and saw combat in Korea.
August Staub also worked in professional theatre for many years as a director and producer. From 1984-1988 he was the Producing Artistic Director of the Jekyll Island Musical Comedy Festival, from 1989-2000 he was the producer and director of the Highlands Playhouse in North Carolina, and from 1991-1995 he also served as the Executive Producer of the Georgia Repertory Theatre. In retirement he continued his professional involvement as a member of the directorial staff of the Theatre in the Square, an Equity house located in Marietta, Georgia. His last production, "The Belle of Amherst", opened at the Theatre in the Square just a few weeks prior to his death. Among his many directorial successes during his career was the American premiere production of "Hungarian Medea," written by Apard Goncz, the president of Hungary, a production that President Goncz attended.
While Gus Staub was held in high regard as a theatre artist, he was also a respected theatre scholar. He was the author of three books, chapters in five books, and over 75 articles in professional journals. In addition, he was the general editor of a series of books on Artists and Issues in the Theatre, and throughout his career delivered numerous papers both here and abroad. Over the years he also served as the associate editor of The Speech Teacher, The Quarterly Journal of Speech, and The Southern Speech Journal. It was his conviction that all theatre artists should have a strong background in the history and literature of their profession.
Gus Staub served as a leader in several organizations associated with educational theatre in America. He was president of the Southwest Theatre and Film Association, of the American Theatre Association, of The University and College Theatre Association, and of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Along with a handful of other leaders in the profession, he was responsible for establishing the artistic and academic standards of educational theatre in America. In recognition of his contributions to the theatre he was honored by being elected to membership in the National Theatre Conference and the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.
His work as an artist and scholar aside, Gus Staub's many friends, colleagues and students will always remember this warm, generous man with a penetrating intellect and a sense of humor that would show up at almost any occasion. His jokes became legendary. He also had a way of making almost instant friends with whomever he met, whether seated next to a stranger in a New York theatre or on a stone wall at the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. And Gus would never let his friends or strangers forget that he had been born and raised in the Big Easy as he slipped into a strong New Orleans dialect.
A memorial celebration will be held on May 5 at 2 p.m. at the Chapel on the University of Georgia campus. Rather than flowers, donations may be made to the University of Georgia Foundation, 394 S. Milledge, Athens, GA 30602, earmarked for the Staub Graduate Award in Theatre.
Lord and Stephens, EAST is in charge of arrangements.
Published by Athens Banner-Herald on Apr. 24, 2008.
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24 Entries
My dearest Pat, I have tried all the phone numbers I had for you - and to look up new ones, but was not successful - so here I am - your old pottery friend sending a note to you. Even though I did not know Gus, it was very apparent that you and he shared a full joyful life together - filled with enough memories for many, many lifetimes. Holding you and Gus in my heart and prayers. Lovingly, Vicki . Call me if you would like (770-957-7309). I love you, Pat.
Vicki Walker
June 22, 2008
After recieving my MFA I moved to Ohio and then San Francisco, but was lucky enough to work for Dr. Staub when he produced Highlands Playhouse. I loved him dearly and will miss him.
Michael Carter Davidson
May 13, 2008
One day in the Spring of 1986, I received a phone call from Gus asking me if I was still interested in a Voice Specialist's position at UGA. (It had been many weeks since submitting my documents and I had nearly given up on the idea.) After talking to him for a little while, his voice put this newly-graduated MFA student quite at ease. While he called my references, I thought about the prospects of taking the job in Georgia. I had never been to Georgia, had never seen UGA, and wouldn't see it either before moving there. Gus called back that afternoon, we talked some more, he put me more at ease. I took the job sight unseen on both our sides. We both proceeded on faith, lots of faith. To me that spoke highly of him. Joe and I are still here and will remain here until retirement, only 9 more years to go. We appreciate Dr. Staub giving us the start in our careers and our time in Athens, Jekyl Island and Highlands. Our prayers are with you.
Gloria Mason Martin
May 4, 2008
Although I only knew Dr. Staub for a short time he was a great man with a great smile. We will miss him and our prayers are with you and your family. Dr. Meg and Staff
Meg Lawson
May 2, 2008
Dear Pat,
I was so sorry to hear about Dr. Staub's passing. I wish I could be there on the 5th, but will be keeping you and he in my thoughts that day. Like many of the other entries here, his influence was profound on all of us. To watch him direct was a marvel, not to mention a hoot. Could anything have been more fun than those "Mikado" dress rehearsals? I don't think so. I still think of it so fondly.
My warmest regards and deepest sympathies.
Maggie Raywood
Maggie Raywood
May 2, 2008
We sincerely express our condolences in the death of Gus. We didn't know him long, but remember him as a witty fellow and lots of fun at Studio Group get togethers.
Jim and Phyllis Talley
April 30, 2008
Dear Staub Family,
Soon after Dr. Staub came to UGA, he took a chance on a young girl with very little experience. He gave me the honor of being his secretary for over two years while my husband finished his Masters. Dr. Staub was just the best boss to all of us. He was a professor, head of the department, director, actor, producer, teacher, mentor, friend, husband and father among his many roles. He had a way of making everyone feel important and, in turn, making everyone want to do their very best for him. As a former theatre student, he even talked me in to trying out for the TV show, “Dukes of Hazzard”! I occasionally talked with him in Athens, Jekyll Island or Highlands but relied on my brother, Henry Johnson, to keep me informed of Dr. Staub’s latest and greatest. I can not physically be there on the 5th but my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I often think of him and I know that we are all much richer for having known him. May your memories carry you through the difficult days ahead.
Donna Johnson Saye
April 30, 2008
Dearest Pat: I'm so happy that I got a chance to see and talk with you both at the opening of Belle of Amherst at Theatre in the Square. But I feel most grateful that I made my way to UGA for graduate school where I could learn so much about myself, life, and theatre from that giant of a man. Even after school Gus (and I only learned to call him that within the last 7 years of our 20-year relationship) continued to mentor, praise, push, and care about me and my career. From UGA to Jekyll Island, to Highlands Playhouse, to the GA Rep, to Theatre in the Square, I was blessed to continue working with him in many capacities. I will greatly miss his advice, his enthusiasm for theatre, his love of good actors, and his fierce intelligence. His teaching of kinesthetics over the years has created quite a community of actors, directors and stage managers who use his process and understand his working vocabulary. I'm proud to say that I'm a "Staubian" theatre professional.
Deadra Moore
April 29, 2008
Dear Mrs. Staub and family,

On behalf of the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA), I write to express our profound sadness at the news of Gus’ death. He was an extraordinary professional artist, teacher and mentor, as attested to by his resume. He was a compassionate, wise and humorous individual, as witnessed by his friends, colleagues and students. We are all appreciative of having had Gus with us. He will be deeply missed.
Scott Steele
April 29, 2008
Mrs. Staub and family,
I am so sorry to hear about Dr. Staub's passing. He had such a profound impact on my life - as he had with countless others. How could he not? His boundless energy, quick wit, incredible imagination and intelligence pushed me to strive beyond my own perceived limitations. His influence still looms large in my life. My best wishes are with you all. I hope that, with time, you can take comfort in the happy memories of Dr. Staub - there are many.
My sincere condolences -
Mandy Munnell
April 29, 2008

I knew Gus from the Wiggley Field Dog Park. I knew him as "Josie's dad" before I knew him personally. I grew to be very fond of him and appreciated his humor and wisdom. Talking with him each morning was a highlight of my day. He will be sorely missed by his human and canine friends.

My prayers are with you.

Debby Moriarity, and Sunny
Debby Moriarity
April 27, 2008
A distinguished member of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He will be missed by his Fellows.
Jack Clay
April 27, 2008
Pat: Gus was a terrific guy, and I count myself fortunate to have known the both of you. Know that the blessings of thousands are with you, in remembrance of his great gifts to theatre education, and to theatre as well.
Alan Woods
April 26, 2008
A great teacher and mentor. He touched so many people's lives. I know he was a giant in my life as a student at Florida and New Orleans. Taylor Brooks
Taylor Brooks
April 25, 2008
Wow I just found out this afternoon. I think that Gus had a more profound effect on my life and how I view the world, not just theatre, than anyone else. I don't know where I would be without the years I spent with him. What he was about means so much to me. I just keep trying to fill that elusive vacuum. The more I live the more I turn to what he talked about and how it is really about life--real life. I hope everyone is alright. May God bless you and keep you close.
Beau Phillips
April 25, 2008
Dear Pat,
We are so saddened to learn of Dr. Staub's death. The world is a bleaker place without him. He had tremendous impact on our lives and careers. We often hear his words coming out of our mouths in the classroom. We will be sure that our students know of him, his work, and his legacy to them. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Laurie.
Love, Tom Pender and Judy Midyett Pender
Judith Pender
April 25, 2008
Dear Pat and family,
I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have known and learned from Dr. Staub. I studied with him from 90-93, and worked with him extensively at Highlands and the Georgia Rep. There's not a day goes by I don't notice a Staubian element in my work and life. And I feel him guide me still, even in his passing. May you find peace and comfort in these trying days. Much love,
Clint Thornton
Clint Thornton
April 25, 2008
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Tim Habeger
April 25, 2008
Pat and Family,
May God ease the pain of your hearts during this difficult time. I was just thinking of Gus a few weeks ago. I had a chair on my head (an homage to Dr. Staub) while directing a show and I could not help but recount so many fond memories of Gus to my students. I continue to use the terms and techniques that Gus taught so well and I even attempt to pass them on with as deft a hand. My sympathy to you and yours!
Thomas Keating
April 24, 2008
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Homes East Chapel
April 25, 2008
I was a graduate student in Dr. Staub's program at UGA from 1986 - 1988. His mentorship and guidance allowed me to realize my success in the acting profession, but more importantly; in life. He will continue to remain a guide for me and countless others who had the good fortune to have known him. He was truly a great man. My condolences to his family.
James Michael Tyler
April 24, 2008
Miss Pat!

I've been thinking so much about your cute fellow the last couple of days, and the thing that I can't seem to get away from, so loud in my head, every time I think of Dr. Staub is his voice... "move quickly like little roaches"... "get in there with your goodie"..."mind your part!..."just sit there on your little tomato"..."Depeche! Depeche!" I believe he trained me well, for me to still hear him so clearly! He was such a formitive and formidible force that taught and shaped and changed in a thousand ways that wide-eyed seventeen year old girl who wanted to be an actress. There are many teachers in our lives, and he has his own LARGE chapter in mine.

A big hug to you! I'll do that in person if I can on the 5th.

Bryn Gaddy Adamson
Bryn Adamson
April 24, 2008
My sincere condolences to Pat and the rest of the Staub family. I was a theatre major at UGA from 1984 to 1989 and was in numerous Staub productions at school and at Jekyll Island. I'll never forget him and will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me. I'm a theatre professional today, and still use tools and techniques I learned from Dr. Staub. He touched so many people, and his extended theatre family is vast (also known as his "babies"). Rest in peace, Dr, Staub. I like to think you used your "skyhook" straight up to Heaven. Best wishes,
Patrick McColery
April 24, 2008
Gus' support and friendship meant a great deal to my career and our family benefit and wellfare. I personally greatly value our shared experiences in departmental work and theatrical productions. I am particularly proud of the productions we created together. Agnes and I send you our heartfelt condolences and will remember you in our prayers. Please feel free to call on us for anything you might need.
Joe and Agnes Stell
W Joseph & Agnes Stell
April 24, 2008
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