Debra Jo Rupp to Star in BECOMING DR. RUTH Off-Broadway; Performances Begin. Oct. 11 at Westside Theatre

Producers Michael Alden, Stefany Bergson and Rodger Hess have announced the New York premiere of Becoming Dr. Ruth, a warmhearted, candid and inspiring comedy starring Debra Jo Rupp, ("That 70's Show") written by Mark St. Germain and directed by Julianne Boyd.

Following the world premiere at Barrington Stage Company and a sold out run at TheaterWorks, Hartford, the play will begin performances Off-Broadway on Friday, October 11th and officially open on Tuesday, October 29th at The Westside Theatre, Upstairs (407 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036).

This is a limited engagement production through January 12th, 2014.

Everyone knows Dr. Ruth Westheimer 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.

The design team includes Brian Prather (Sets), Jen Moeller (Costumes), Scott Pinkney (Lights), and Jessica Paz (Sound). Mark St. Germain is the acclaimed playwright of The Best of Enemies and Freud?s Last Session. Julianne Boyd founded and is the Artistic Director of the Barrington Stage Company. She previously directed Becoming Dr. Ruth under the title of Dr. Ruth, All the Way at Barrington Stage in 2012.

Debra Jo Rupp (Dr. Ruth) previously appeared on Broadway with Kathleen Turner and Charles Durning in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She starred off-Broadway in Cynthia Heimel's A Girl's Guide to Chaos (American Place), Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Lune (Westside Arts), The Butcher of Baraboo (Second Stage) directed by Judith Ivey, and in several regional productions, most recently, on the east coast, at Williamstown, Barrington Stage Company and Hartford Stage. She is SO happy to be returning to the New York stage. Debra Jo Rupp has made over 300 television appearances and is probably best known for her role as the beloved high-strung mom "Kitty Forman" in the long- running FOX comedy series "That 70's Show." In addition to "That 70's Show," Debra Jo was a series regular on the ABC comedy, "Better With You," "The Office" with Valerie Harper, "The Jeff Foxworthy Show" and "If Not for You" with Elizabeth McGovern and Hank Azaria. She recently guest-starred on the CW's "Hart of Dixie." Other notable appearances include Seinfeld's booking agent, "Katie," and Phoebe's sister-in-law on "Friends." Sally Field directed her in HBO's acclaimed series "From the Earth to the Moon," and she is listed as "crowd member" and actually got to go to the 2004 World Series and watch her Red Sox win. Debra Jo appears in the independent feature, Congratulations, which made its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival and continues on the festival circuit and just completed A Bet's a Bet with Jennifer Finnigan. Other film credits include She's Out of My League, Jackson, the award-winning short The Act, Kickin' it Old Skool with Jamie Kennedy, Clockwatchers with Toni Collette and Parker Posey, Spymate, Lucky Thirteen with Lauren Graham, Sgt. Bilko with Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd; and her first film ever, Big, with the lovely Tom Hanks. Her voice can be heard in the Emmy-winning "Teacher's Pet" with Nathan Lane (both cartoon and feature film), "Garfield," "Air Buddies" and various other projects with tiny animals. Debra Jo is represented by Stone Manners Salners, Wright Entertainment, Inc. and Sendroff and Baruch, LLP.

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 premiered at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta and Goodspeed Musicals. A new play, Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah recently co-premiered 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, THE HB Playwrights' Lab, and the Writer's Guild East.

Julianne Boyd (Director) is the founder and artistic director of the Barrington Stage Company (BSC), Pittsfield, MA. In 2004, BSC developed and premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which transferred to Broadway in 2005, winning two Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards and numerous other awards. As director, Ms. Boyd's previous productions include the world premiere of Becoming Dr Ruth at BSC (then entitled Dr. Ruth All The Way) and Hartford TheaterWorks. Other directorial credits at BSC include the world premiere of Mark St. Germain's Best of Enemies, All My Sons, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Streetcar Named Desire, 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 for an extended run. She 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, La Jolla Playhouse and the George Street Playhouse. She served on the Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC) from 1980-1998 and as President of that union from 1992-1998.

Tickets are now on sale. Tickets are e available by calling 212-239-6200, TeleCharge online and at The Westside Theatre box office (407 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036). Box office hours are 12PM-6PM daily. For information on group tickets please contact:Group Sales Box Office /, 1-800 BROADWAY x2, Tickets are $79.00.

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