Age & Hometown: 28; Detroit
Current Role: A Broadway debut performance as Sophie De Palma, the talented yet awkward soprano who becomes Maria Callas’ “first victim” in Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway revival of Master Class.
Star Tracks: How did an American become a West End headliner at 21 (in The Woman in White) and go on to play Fiddler’s Hodel and Carousel’s Julie Jordan before ever appearing on a New York stage? After graduating from the famed Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Silber entered the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and spent the first nine years of her adult life in the U.K. “My father passed away when I was 18, and I needed to distance myself from that and simultaneously embrace my own life,” she explains. Career success in London and a four-year romance with actor Damian Humbley followed, but when the relationship ended, Silber headed home “to take a break and heal my heart.” Instead, she says with a laugh, “Within three weeks, I had an agent, a manager and nine months of work.”
Broadway Baby: The live-wire actress is anything but blasé about her Broadway bow opposite Tyne Daly in Master Class. “When I made my West End debut, I didn’t quite understand what it meant,” she says. “I was excited, but it doesn’t compare to what it felt like to walk onto the Friedman Theatre stage for the first time. I’ve been dreaming about Broadway since I was five!” Silber shares her insights on work, friendship and life in a photo-filled blog she has maintained, amazingly enough, for five years. “It's a creative crucible for me, and it has literally saved part of my soul,” she says. “My onstage work improved once I started writing because I was being satisfied artistically in another place.” Silber’s online efforts earned her the ultimate blogosphere prize: A literary agent has signed her to write a still-in-progress novel.
Big Dreams: Not surprisingly, the introspective Silber has given a lot of thought to her future. “To be an ambitious person doesn’t necessarily mean you want your career to advance in a vertical way—more fame, more money, more notoriety,” she says. “I am an ambitious person in a horizontal way—more experiences, more richness, more people.” Dream roles include Amalia in She Loves Me (a musical she starred in as a teen at Interlochen opposite Michael Arden) and Yelena in Uncle Vanya. When Funny Girl, which Bartlett Sher is prepping to direct in L.A., is mentioned, Silber says coyly, “You’re not the first person to say that. It’s a beautiful show, a beautiful role, and I think I’d have a lot to say about it.”