Maura O'Brien Becomes Dr Ruth
Lost Nation Theater presents Maura O’Brien in the Hilarious and Moving biodrama Becoming Dr. Ruth by Mark St Germain
“My favorite animal is the turtle... to move, it has to stick its neck out.”
That’s the life philosophy of Dr. Ruth K Westheimer in a nutshell.
Dr. Ruth’s inspiring real-life story is brought to life onstage in the tour-de-force Becoming Dr. Ruth at Lost Nation Theater, Thursday–Sunday, September 6 –16, at City Hall Arts Center, in downtown Montpelier.
Playwright Mark St. Germain deftly illuminates this remarkable woman's untold story. His play bursts with the humor, honesty, and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the little girl who fled from the Nazis and became "Dr. Ruth," America’s most famous sex therapist.
Almost everyone, at least of a certain age, knows Dr. Ruth Westheimer from her career as a pioneering and taboo-shattering radio and television sex therapist with a quirky sense of humor.
“Why did they listen? I think People need to talk about sex and suddenly here was a little matronly woman who did.
I was not threatening, And I made them laugh.”
– Dr Ruth K Westheimer.
And at age 90, she’s still going strong!
Few, however, know the incredible journey that preceded her success. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport, to serving as a sniper for the Haganah in Jerusalem, to her struggle to succeed as a single mother newly-arrived in America, and her determination to get an education and become a doctor.
St Germain’s one-woman script demands an actor of virtuosic proportions, and Lost Nation Theater is thrilled to feature longtime company member and Actors’ Equity Association’s Maura O’Brien as Dr. Ruth.
Kathleen Keenan, Lost Nation Theater’s Producing Artistic Director and director of Becoming Dr. Ruth , says:
“I can’t think of a better actor. Maura is so dedicated to her craft and has the rare gift of simultaneously having complete access to her emotions, being at ease with vulnerability, and being riotously funny.
She is utterly comfortable talking directly with an audience and riffing off what they share with her. The perfect trifecta for Becoming Dr. Ruth. Her heart & humor will lead the way.”
Joining Keenan and O’Brien on the show are many LNT favorites: dialect coach Christopher Scheer, music designer Tim Tavcar, scenic designer Andrew Mannion, lighting designer (and Vermonter) Charlotte Seelig, costume designer Shawn Sturdevant, sound designer AJ Bierschwal with stage management and properties by Marisa Christie, Emily Cuerdon, and Stevie De.
Chris Scheer offers:
“I love getting to work with Maura who I admire greatly. With Kathleen at the helm it is bound to be a truly heartfelt comedy. In fact, during one of my early sessions with Maura she was already making me weep just from a cold read. Plus, German and Yiddish accents have always been my favorites!”
“Mark St. Germain’s Becoming Dr. Ruth is a revelation and designing the music a true joy.
For the many, who only know her through her work as a Sex Therapist, this is an illuminating portrait of a woman whose own poignant life experiences, full of tragedy and triumph, gave birth to this amazing woman the world knows, loves and respects.”
– Tim Tavcar
"Fascinating (and heartbreaking)...St. Germain convincingly and humorously conveys Westheimer’s surprising dignity, courage, and resilience." —The New Yorker.
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