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Vivienne Shub

“I would get my 10 cents and run like a dervish to the Pimlico movies every afternoon and sit in there for three hours—more. It was a continuous showing, you didn't have to get out at the end of one. So they'd have to come and pull me out, because I was pulled in by those actors. When I came out, I felt like I was Loretta Young walking down the street, as if she had come into my soul.” – Vivienne Shub

Encouraged by her father's sense of drama in storytelling and advice to follow her passion, Vivienne Shub became an actress. Born in Baltimore during the deadly flu epidemic of 1918, Vivienne attended music classes in her youth at the Peabody Conservatory and frequented local theaters before enrolling in full-time acting classes at the Ramsey Street Theater Conservatory. After an unsuccessful attempt to find an acting job in New York, Vivienne returned to business school in Baltimore and supported herself in secretarial jobs while acting on the side. In 1941, she married Louis Shub, a concert pianist, and had three children, Amy, Daniel and Judith. Active in a variety of progressive political causes, the family supported the civil rights movement and protested the Vietnam War. In 1963, Vivienne helped to create Center Stage, bringing a regional professional repertory theater to Baltimore. In the 1970s, she and her husband took up residency at Goucher College, sharing their expertise in music and theater. She has also enjoyed a long teaching career at Towson University, appeared in numerous films, and serves as president of the Baltimore Theater Alliance. Vivienne continues to be passionately dedicated to the theater and her profession as an actress, performing at Everyman Theater, where she is a resident company member.

Vivienne Shub
Full image
Vivienne Shub.
Courtesy of Joan Roth.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Vivienne Shub." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/communitystories/baltimore/narrators/shub-vivienne>.


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