Press Release and Production Photos
For Immediate Release
BECOMING DR. RUTH, MARK ST. GERMAIN’S HILARIOUS ONE-WOMAN PLAY ABOUT EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SEXPERT, TO MAKE CINNABAR DEBUT WITH ANN WOODHEAD IN A VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE DIRECTED BY ELIZABETH CRAVEN
STREAMING FRIDAY, MAY 21 – SUNDAY, MAY 30
Tickets Now on Sale: www.cinnabartheater.org or Call (707) 763-8920
PETALUMA, CA (April 16, 2021) — Coming up next on Cinnabar Theater’s virtual stage is Mark St. Germain’s comedy-drama Becoming Dr. Ruth, the extraordinary story of the diminutive Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s fascinating, tragic and heroic rise to fame as the nation’s celebrity radio and television sexpert. Portrayed by Bay Area theater veteran Ann Woodhead in a production directed by Beth Craven, this “first-rate” (NY Times) 90-minute portrait of Becoming Dr. Ruth will premiere Friday, May 21 at 7.30 p.m. with on-demand streaming through Sunday, May 30.
St. Germain’s Becoming Dr. Ruth, which premiered in 2012 at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, is a joyous and inspirational memoir of a life well-lived. As a ten-year old German Jewish girl, she fled the Nazis in the Kindertransport for a Swiss orphanage where she lived during the War years. Losing her family to the Holocaust, the teenage Karola Ruth Siegel left for Palestine joining the Haganah (paramilitary) in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, later moving to France to study at the Sorbonne and eventually moving to the United States where she struggled to succeed as a single mother.
Married three times, Dr. Ruth’s up and down career took off in 1980 with her pioneering radio show “Sexually Speaking” on WYNY-FM, a listener call-in program. The success of this bold, highly original, often-times hilarious sex therapy advice by the 4 feet 7 inch thickly accented radio host, caught the attention of the nation. In-demand appearances on every television show, radio and VIP events, thrust Dr. Ruth into a celebrity world of genuine adoration and affection. She went on to author 36 books dispensing advice on all matters of human relationships and even had a board game created in her honor, “Dr. Ruth’s Game of Good Sex.”
Critically acclaimed playwright Mark St. Germain’s theatrical salute to his friend Ruth Westheimer is filled with humor, honesty, and a life-affirming spirit of an extraordinary woman’s personal journey.
St. Germain’s distinguished theatre credits include Becoming Dr. Ruth; Camping with Tom and Henry; Relativity; Scott and Hem; Out of Gas on Lovers Leap; Best of Enemies; and Freud’s Last Session; and such co-writing works as the Tammy Wynette musical, Stand by Your Man; The Gifts of the Magi; Dancing Lessons; The Fabulous Lipitones and many more.
Portraying Dr. Ruth is popular actress Ann Woodhead, an award-winning dancer, actor, choreographer, and director. She was one of the first artists to work at Cinnabar Theater, in 1972, and has long considered Cinnabar to be her artistic home; her last appearance at Cinnabar was in the Mark Twain comedy Is He Dead? Ann has taught dance and related courses at Sonoma State University from 1975 through 2001, “retiring” to the Mendocino Coast in 2003. Since then, she has directed plays, operas, and musicals, and appeared in many roles at Mendocino Theatre Company and in the Bay Area. Favorite lead acting roles include Jean in Quartet, Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer in Becoming Dr. Ruth, performed first at Mendocino Theatre Company and later at Sebastopol’s Main Stage West.
Cinnabar Theater welcomes the return of director Elizabeth Craven, a theater artist, teacher and administrator. She recently retired after ten years as Artistic Director of Sebastopol’s Main Stage West in March 2020, where she produced and directed more than 70 productions. Craven returned to the Bay Area in 2015 after ten years as Head of the International MFA Performance Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to become Executive Director of 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa (2005-2010). While at UT she was also the resident director of Clarence Brown Theatre Company (LORT/AEA). Craven held full-time faculty positions in the SSU Theatre Arts Department (1987-1995) and Santa Rosa High School Theater Arts (1981-1986), teaching directing and acting, and directing theatre productions. She was founder and Co-Artistic Director (with Amy Glazer) for Western Union Theater Company in residence at Cinnabar Theater from 1981-1994.
The Cinnabar Theater’s creative team includes Wayne Hovey (Production, Lighting and Sound Designer); Donnie Frank (Costume Designer); Betty Abrahamson (Stage Manager); and Ross Tiffany-Brown (Theater Technician). Diane Dragone is Cinnabar Theater’s Executive Director and Nathan Cummings, Artistic Director.
Tickets are priced at $25 per household and are now on sale for all virtual performances beginning Friday, May 21 at 7.30 p.m., continuing through Sunday, May 30 streaming on-demand. To order, please visit cinnabartheater.org or call (707) 763-8920.
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Jon Finck, Encore Communications 2.0; firstname.lastname@example.org / (415) 577-1323.
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