Debra Jo Rupp Is Dr. Ruth in Revealing New Play, Premiering June 19 in MA
By Kenneth Jones
Dr. Ruth, All the Way, the biographical play about the famous sex expert who broke ground with her frank talk on radio and television, begins a world-premiere engagement at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage on June 19. The new play's author, Mark St. Germain, is the venue's namesake.
Debra Jo Rupp ("That 70's Show") stars as Dr. Ruth Westheimer. BSC associate artist St. Germain had a hit with Freud's Last Session at BSC's intimate Stage 2. The theatre was later named after him.
Artistic director Julianne Boyd directs the play, now extended to July 21, which is billed this way: "Everyone knows the pioneering radio and television sex therapist Dr. Ruth but few know the incredible journey that preceded it. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport to joining the Haganah in Jerusalem, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Dr. Ruth, All the Way is filled with the humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of Korola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became 'Dr. Ruth.'"
Opening night is June 30 at 8 PM.
Boyd said in a statement, "We are thrilled to be presenting the sixth world premiere by BSC associate artist Mark St. Germain. Working on Dr. Ruth, All the Way with Mark, Debra Jo Rupp and Dr. Ruth has been an exhilarating experience. We are moved and honored that Dr. Ruth has allowed us to tell her life story, one filled with humor, sadness, longing but above all else, resilience."
Dr. Ruth, All the Way is the first commission of Barrington Stage's New Works Initiative. This commission is courtesy of Sydelle and Lee Blatt & Rosita Sarnoff and Beth Sapery.
The design team includes Brian Prather (sets/projections), Scott Pinkney (lights), Jennifer Mueller (costumes), Gabriella Pollino-Rodman (wigs) and Jessica Paz (sound).Kate Cudworth is production stage manager.
Rupp's BSC credits 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 Blessing's Body of Water. In New York, she 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). She played Kitty Forman on the hit series "That 70's Show."
St. Germain's plays include the BSC hits The Best of Enemies and Freud's Last Session; the latter was Barrington Stage Company's longest running play. It has subsequently played over 700 performances Off-Broadway, and has been performed nationally and internationally. His plays includes Ears on a Beatle (BSC), The God Committee (BSC) and Out of Gas on Lover's Leap. Other plays include Camping with Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award) and Forgiving Typhoid Mary.
BSC's St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center is at 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA.
For more information, visit barringtonstageco.org.
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