Former county court clerk finds his place on the stage

Brandon Paykamian • Apr 1, 2018 at 5:18 PM

From 1982 to 2002, Sulphur Springs resident Don Squibb served as a Washington County Circuit Court clerk, but he eventually found that he was looking for a change of pace in his life.

These days, the retired civil servant immerses himself in the world of the arts and spends much of his time at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, where he often stars in plays, musicals and theater productions every year.

Though he’s always been interested in law, Squibb said he has been singing and acting since he was a child, when he first developed his passion for the arts. He performed in some of his first theater productions in the early ’70s after years of singing at various events, when he said he was first hooked on the limelight.

“I started singing when I was 12 at church, funerals and weddings and other events,” Squibb said. “I haven’t counted, but I’ve probably been in about 75 or 80 plays, musicals and theater productions.” 

Now, the 84-year-old-retiree said he’s happy to be able to put more energy into this outlet. Most recently, he had been preparing for the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre’s production of “I Love a Piano,” which began March 30 and runs until April 15. Next, Squibb will get set for the June production of “1776.”

It’s productions such as these — where he can mix his acting and vocal skills — that Squibb said he enjoys most.

“One of my favorites is ‘The Music Man,’” he said. “I love the musicals. They’re definitely my favorite.”

Plays and musicals, according to Squibb, have served as a therapeutic release as well as an outlet. After losing his first wife, Joyce, of 43 years in 1998, he married Barbara Summers in 2001. She, too, passed away in 2013 after a battle with cancer. 

Through all of this, Squibb said the stage has been a rock for him and a constant in his life.

“I’ve found some of the best friendships I’ve had through theater,” he said. “This has always been an outlet for me and a way to keep my mind working.”

When he isn’t on stage, Squibb said he spends most of his time “milling around” his farm in Sulphur Springs, where he said he tends to more than a dozen donkeys that he has had for years.

“I still consider myself a conservative Republican, but to show I’m not too biased, I have 15 donkeys now,” Squibb laughed.

As Squibb gets set for this year’s productions, he said he has no plans to stop performing anytime soon. 

“I’m still enjoying myself, even though I’m 84,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in my life, but I’ve always got to stay busy. I’d go nutty with nothing to do.” 

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