Debra Jo Rupp to Star in BECOMING DR. RUTH at TheaterWorks, 5/31-7/7
Everyone knows Dr. Ruth from her career as a pioneering radio and television sex therapist. Few, however, know the incredible journey that preceded it. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport and joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Becoming Dr. Ruth is filled with the humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became "Dr. Ruth", America?s most famous sex therapist.
Direct from its sold-out World Premiere at Barrington Stage Company, the revised Becoming Dr. Ruth will be directed by Julianne Boyd founder and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company (BSC). Mark St. Germain, acclaimed playwright of The Best of Enemies and Freud?s Last Session, deftly recounts Dr. Ruth's life with warmth, wisdom and irrepressible joy. TheaterWorks? production stars stage, film and television actress Debra Jo Rupp (best known as Kitty Forman on That 70?s Show) in an outstanding tour de-force performance.
TheaterWorks Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero says, "We are very excited to have Becoming Dr. Ruth as part of our current season. I grew up watching Dr. Ruth on television, and Debra Jo Rupp's performance is exquisite. She captures the spirit and humor of Dr. Ruth, perfectly. The title has been changed for our production to better embody the message of the play as it continues its journey toward a New York production. I am delighted to report I get to speak to the real Dr. Ruth regularly these days and some of our audiences might get to meet her, too, if they show up on the right night!"
Becoming Dr. Ruth runs May 31st through July 7th, 2013, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Weekend Matinees: 2:30 p.m. Press is welcome beginning June 7th at 8:00pm. Opening Night is Saturday, June 8th at 8:00pm. The lobby and the gallery sponsored by The Hartford Financial Services Group, opens 90 minutes prior to curtain; seating starts 60 minutes prior.
All performances play TheaterWorks at City Arts on Pearl - 233 Pearl Street in Downtown Hartford. Admission: All Seats - General Admission. For more information, visit www.theaterworkshartford.org.
Debra Jo Rupp (Dr. Ruth) makes her TheaterWorks debut in Becoming Dr. Ruth, which originated at Barrington Stage Company (BSC). Other performances at BSC include: Ring 'Round the Moon, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Laramie Project. She has performed at Williamstown Theatre Festival in True West and A Flea in Her Ear, Berkshire Theatre Festival in Mornings at Seven and the Chester Theatre Company production of Lee Blessings' Body of Water. In New York, Debra Jo has appeared on Broadway with Kathleen Turner and Charles Durning in the 1990 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She starred Off-Broadway in Cynthia Heimel's A Girl's Guide to Chaos (American Place), Frankie and Johnny in The Clair de Lune (Westside Arts) and The Butcher of Baraboo (Second Stage). Other Regional: Blithe Spirit and The Middle Ages (Whole Theatre Co.), Taking Steps (Virginia Stage Co.), Wall of Water (Yale Rep), Noises Off (Cape Playhouse), Moonlight and Valentino (Shafer Theatre). Debra Jo has made over 300 television and film appearances and is probably best known for her role as Kitty Forman on the hit series That 70's Show. Her feature films include playing Jay Baruchel?s mom in She?s Out of My League, Kickin It Old Skool, Air Buddies, Clockwatchers with Toni Collette and Parker Posey, Spymate, Lucky 13, Sgt. Bilko with Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd, and her first film Big with Tom Hanks. Among her notable television appearances are booking agent Katie on Seinfeld, Phoebe's sister-in-law on Friends and From the Earth to the Moon (dir. Sally Field), ER, The Office and Better With You to name a few.
Mark St. Germain (Playwright) is the acclaimed playwright of Freud?s Last Session, recipient of the 2011 Best Play Award from the Off Broadway Alliance. He is also the author of The Fabulous Lipitones, a musical comedy co-written with John Markus, which just premiered at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta and Goodspeed Musicals. A new play, Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah will co-premiere this summer at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and Barrington Stage Company. Other plays include Best of Enemies, Camping with Henry and Tom (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Ears on a Beatle, The God Committee and Out of Gas on Lover?s Leap. With composer Randy Courts, Mark wrote the musicals The Gifts of the Magi, Johnny, and Jack?s Holiday. He wrote the Tammy Wynette Musical Stand by Your Man for the Ryman Theater in Nashville. Television work includes Writer/Creative Consultant for The Cosby Show. Mark co-wrote Director Carroll Ballard?s film Duma and produced and directed the documentary My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story, with Richard Gere, Glenn Close, Edward Albee, Lynn Redgrave and many others. He also wrote the award winning children?s book Three Cups. Mark is an Associate Artist at Barrington Stage Company, and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writer?s Guild East.
Julianne Boyd (Director) founded the Barrington Stage Company (BSC) in January, 1995. She previously directed Becoming Dr Ruth under the title of Dr. Ruth, All the Way at Barrington Stage in 2012. Other directorial credits at BSC include Mark St. Germain's Best of Enemies in 2011, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Streetcar Named Desire, West Side Story, Follies, Cyrano de Bergerac and The Importance of Being Earnest. In 1997 she directed BSC's smash hit production of Cabaret, which won six Boston Theatre Critics Awards and later transferred to the Hasty Pudding Theatre in Cambridge, MA. Ms. Boyd conceived and directed the Broadway musical Eubie!, a show based on the music of Eubie Blake which starred Gregory Hines and garnered three Tony nominations. She also co-conceived and directed (with Joan Micklin Silver) the award-winning Off-Broadway musical revue A...My Name Is Alice (Outer Critics' Award) and its sequel A...My Name Is Still Alice. She has worked extensively in regional theatres, including the Old Globe Theatre, the McCarter Theater and La Jolla Playhouse. From 1992 to 1998 Ms. Boyd served as President of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the national union representing professional directors and choreographers in the U.S.