Bringing Dr. Ruth to the LNT Stage
Introducing Dr Ruth K Westheimer to new audiences!
To help introduce herself to new audiences - and especially young people - Dr Ruth (America's favorite and most famous sex therapist), in 2012, agreed to allow Mark St Germain to turn her life story into a play.
And what a story her life is.
And what a play too. That play, commissioned by Barrington Stage Company, became Becoming Dr. Ruth.
BECOMING DR. RUTH, Lost Nation Theater’s second-to-last offering of its 30th Anniversary Season, is the life-affirming, humorous, and heart-wrenching inspirational story of the girl who became America's best know sex therapist -- Dr. Ruth Westheimer. This one-woman show stars LNT's Maura O'Brien* (Always Patsy Cline, Sylvia, Lost in Yonkers.)
BECOMING DR. RUTH is filled with the humor, honesty, and powerful life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel who became "Dr. Ruth," the woman who helped to revolutionize talk about sex and sexuality on radio and television. Now, at 90 years of age, she is still going.
Over the course of the one-act play, Dr. Ruth recounts her Jewish upbringing in 1930s Germany. After experiencing Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), her parents sent her out of harm’s way on a Kindertransport to Switzerland where she spent her teen years. The Gestapo took her father; after WWII she learned that most of her family perished in the Holocaust. Relocating to Palestine, she served the paramilitary group Haganah as a Zionist “sharpshooter” during the Jewish/Arab conflict of the late 1940s and was wounded in an explosion. The hardships kept coming but she persevered through the depravity and punishing conditions to set her sights on education and, eventually, on America.
Ruth Westheimer began her career as a school principal before specializing in social research and experimental psychology. It was a job working for Planned Parenthood that prompted her to further her education in human sexuality leading her to “overnight stardom” as a celebrity talk-show host and recurring guest on David Letterman.
During her 90th birthday interview with the New York Times, she announced her plans to take her message to college campuses and tape episodes with a younger co-host. “There is an age that does not know me.” Referring to both the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s and 90’s as well as its current resurgence, she added: “I said you have to use condoms and know with whom you go to bed. I saved some lives. (Nowadays) young people don’t see anybody die, but I say the same to them. They think they can have one-night stands. I’m still talking about (the importance of) relationships. I’m still saying be careful.”
BECOMING DR. RUTH is a 90-minute journey full of lessons delivered with humor and a twinkling assurance that, with hope and optimism, everything will, indeed, be okay.
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