Feb 16, 2023 | Becoming Dr. Ruth
(Kalamazoo, MI) Continuing a streak of critically acclaimed performances (Bright Star, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, A Swinging Christmas: The Holiday Music of Tony Bennett, The Great Leap), Farmers Alley Theatre is thrilled to bring the very first production of Becoming Dr. Ruth to West Michigan audiences.
Yes. That Dr. Ruth! 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 sniper, to her struggle to succeed as a single mother newly arrived in America, playwright Mark St. Germain deftly illuminates this remarkable woman’s untold story.
Becoming Dr. Ruth is filled with the humor, honesty, and heartfelt spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became “Dr. Ruth,” America’s most famous sex therapist. Audiences are sure to be moved by this life-affirming (and a little bit sexy) one-woman tour-de-force of a play.
Our production stars Diane Wasnak as Dr. Ruth. Diane has performed professionally all across the country and made her Broadway debut in Busker Alley starring Glenn Close. Diane also starred in Mystère for Cirque du Soleil. She is internationally renowned for her mime and movement work and as part of the first American female circus clown duo.
This regional premiere production is directed by Kathy Mulay, who has helmed numerous productions throughout Southwest Michigan throughout her career. Kathy’s credits at Farmers Alley Theatre include Cabaret, Collected Stories, The Bridges of Madison County, Bright Star, and the smash hit A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder this past fall.
Kathy says, “This is a true story told in Dr. Ruth’s own words. As she shares her remarkable life experiences, we meet her husbands (she’s had three), her children, and get the measure of a woman who just won’t quit. When we come to the point in this journey where she “becomes” Dr. Ruth, we see her offer her special brand of cheerful straight talk on her first radio show, ‘Sexually Speaking.’ The calls, most likely real or close approximations, are fascinating, as are her candid responses.
Bubbly and funny one moment, touching the next, Dr. Ruth is more than the chipper sex-positive enthusiast of TV and radio. By giving us the full scope of her life, triumph and pain, Becoming Dr. Ruth allows us to understand the astounding true story of a remarkable woman who continues to inspire us with her strength and optimism.”
Farmers Alley Theatre’s Executive Director Robert Weiner adds, “As someone who didn’t know a whole lot about Dr. Ruth's life other than her late night TV appearances, I was floored by the incredible journey she had to travel to become the world's foremost sex therapist. A truly inspiring tale, the fact that we get the opportunity to produce this show during Women's History Month just adds to her importance and legacy. And with Kathy Mulay at the helm, Becoming Dr. Ruth is sure to be another Farmers Alley Theatre production that will thoroughly entertain and enlighten."
The Play’s author Mark St. Germain is an award winning playwright with a gift for historical fiction. In works like Freud’s Last Session, Eleanor, Relativity, and, of course, Becoming Dr. Ruth, St. Germain demonstrates a knack for capturing the depth and complexity of famous figures that makes his work endlessly fascinating.
Becoming Dr. Ruth runs for two weekends from March 9 through March 19. Tickets are $35/$39 on Fri/Sat/Sun and $30/$35 on Thursdays. Student ticket pricing is $15 for all shows. Preview performance tickets on 3/9 are $25. Tickets are available for purchase at www.farmersalleytheatre.com or by calling the Box Office at (269) 343-2727. Becoming Dr Ruth contains adult themes.
Becoming Dr. Ruth is generously supported by the Marvin and Rosalie Okun Foundation, Jack and Andy Hopkins, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by our season sponsor, First National Bank of Michigan.
Farmers Alley Theatre is Michigan’s premier professional arts organization, known for producing exciting and innovative work of the highest professional quality. Celebrated for its eclectic programming of both contemporary and classic productions, the theatre is the recipient of 29 Wilde Awards – Michigan’s equivalent of The Tony Awards for professional theatre in the state.
Farmers Alley Theatre is passionately dedicated to its mission to create the highest caliber professional productions that entertain while inspiring, educating, and communicating with audiences to reflect on the diverse human experience.
Farmers Alley Theatre
The joy of live theatre. Together.