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Becoming Dr Ruth, Music Theatre of Connecticut, Norwalk, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Becoming Dr Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut
Becoming Dr. Ruth written by Mark St Germain starring Amy Griffin as the estimable Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Directed by Kevin Connors at the Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) may be just what the doctor ordered for a night of inspiration! We saw the play on opening night, and it was riveting. Now more than ever, we can all use a bit of positivity in our lives, and the play, Becoming Dr. Ruth delivers in abundance. The play runs until February 21, 2021 and is available via Live Stream tickets or in person at the theatre in Norwalk, Connecticut. Bravo!

 

Becoming Dr. Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT, USA

To fully appreciate the play, Becoming Dr. Ruth, written by Mark St. Germain, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about the actual Dr. Ruth Westheimer before experiencing the performance at MTC. We had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Connors, Director and Co-Founder of MTC, and actor Amy Griffin who plays Dr. Ruth in the play, Becoming Dr. Ruth. What we learned about Dr. Ruth Westheimer was eye opening. Long before she became the radio darling of the airwaves as a sex therapist speaking frankly about sexuality with humor, honesty, and a glint in her eye in 1980, she had an amazing life-altering journey.

Amy Griffin - Becoming Dr. Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT, USA - photo by Alex Mongillo
Amy Griffin (Dr. Ruth)
Becoming Dr. Ruth

For Dr. Ruth Westheimer, born Karola Ruth Siegel in Germany in 1928, her life has been one major obstacle after another, yet she has remained a beacon of positivity. Her father died in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, she was sent on a Kindertransport out of Nazi Germany at the age of 10 to a Jewish Orphanage in Switzerland, and most unbelievable of all, she went to Palestine at 17 and was trained to fight as a sniper in the Palestine War (1947-1949)! All this from a woman who physically only stands 4 foot 7 inches! Tiny in stature, she is a giant in her heart and how she approaches life. She is an inspiration as someone who not only survived life's tragedies and difficulties she is someone who has thrived and has done so with humor and acceptance! Her life's journey has involved living in Germany, Switzerland, Israel, and France, before coming to the United States. She has been married three times and became a US citizen in 1965 and makes her home in New York. With her backstory revealed to us through the interviews with Kevin and Amy, we could not wait for the show to begin!

Interview with Actor Amy Griffin

Amy Griffin
Amy Griffin

Amy Griffin has an impressive acting resume including appearing on Broadway in the original cast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and in the First National Tour, as well as countless other National Tours, Off-Broadway, and Regional plays. When asked about the role of Dr. Ruth, she replied, as an actor if you get an opportunity - you take it! When she received the opportunity to take on the role of Dr. Ruth in the one-woman production of Becoming Dr. Ruth, she took it!

Amy Griffin - Becoming Dr. Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT, USA - photo by Alex Mongillo
Amy Griffin (Dr. Ruth)
Becoming Dr. Ruth

While she had appeared in 2-person and 3-person productions, doing a solo-show was another acting challenge for her. As memorizing dialogue for a 90-minute solo performance was daunting, she conjured up the real Dr. Ruth as her inspiration to meet the new challenge head-on. Yes, you feel the fear, and you do it anyway! Asking herself and often remarking to her husband, "What would Dr. Ruth do? she knew she would do it! She used that courage to help her prepare for the role of Dr. Ruth, watching lots of footage on Dr. Ruth, and learned that one of Dr. Ruth's gifts is that what you see is what you get. She can be blunt, she is honest, and she is upbeat. In short, she is an inspiration.

Interview with Director and Co-Founder of the MTC Kevin Connors

MTC Co-Founder and Director Kevin Connors is a true believer in the industry mantra that the show must go on! When the theatre closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, MTC held virtual events for the community, and he worked with Equity all summer regarding a safety plan for when they could reopen. The theatre's goal is to keep staff employed while ensuring the safety of the staff and audiences. Scrapping their 2020 - 2021 plays, they had to offer modified programming when they reopened in September. Gone were the musicals as they would not meet safety guidelines and instead offered smaller scale productions. To meet guidelines, seating had to be well-spaced creating another a challenge for a smaller, theatre-in-the-round. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and this challenge was met by offering audiences the opportunity to experience plays via Live Stream or in person. This new programming option provided more people with the opportunity to experience plays and opened new audience channels across the world.

Amy Griffin - Becoming Dr. Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT, USA - photo by Alex Mongillo
Amy Griffin (Dr. Ruth)
Becoming Dr. Ruth

We were so excited when the MTC reopened and attended the October 2020 production of the solo-actor production of RFK starring Chris Manual, which was wonderful! Patrons had their temperatures taken before entering the theatre, and masks were required during the entire production. Seating was well-spaced to protect the actor and the audience. For their December 2020 show, It's A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play, we experienced the play via Live Stream, and it provided us with another opportunity to experience live theatre, and it was wonderful.

Since founding MTC in 1987, Kevin Connors and Co-Founder Jim Schilling have met many challenges; operating during a pandemic is just another challenge that they are meeting head-on and bringing their loyal community of theatre-lovers much needed entertainment and diversion. Bravo!

The Play

The play Becoming Dr. Ruth runs until February 21, 2021 and is available by purchasing tickets via Live Stream or in person at MTC.

Amy Griffin - Becoming Dr. Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT, USA - photo by Alex Mongillo
Amy Griffin (Dr. Ruth)
Becoming Dr. Ruth

We opted for the Live Stream option for the opening night, Saturday, February 6, 2021. Although speaking with Kevin Connors and Amy Griffin beforehand provided us with background information on Dr. Ruth, seeing Amy Griffin actually becoming the estimable Dr. Ruth on stage was mesmerizing. Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer's story and her life's journey will touch your heart. It is a play of love, tragedy, humor, sadness, and ultimately joy at knowing the story of Dr. Ruth, America's sweetheart. L'Chaim! (To life!)

Amy Griffin - Becoming Dr. Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT, USA - photo by Alex Mongillo
Amy Griffin (Dr. Ruth)
Becoming Dr. Ruth

Bravo to Amy Griffin who transfixed the audience with her depth of character, humor, and humanity she brought to the role, to Director Kevin Connors, and to Playwright Mark St. Germain for sharing the vision and the remarkable story of a remarkable woman - Dr. Ruth Westheimer! She is a beacon of positivity in a world in desperate need of inspiration.

Amy Griffin - Becoming Dr. Ruth - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT, USA - photo by Alex Mongillo
Amy Griffin (Dr. Ruth)
Becoming Dr. Ruth

Becoming Dr. Ruth, performance schedule: February 5 - 21, 2021, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets available via Live Stream on In-Person.

Until next time, keep enjoying and supporting the arts!

Cast:

Amy Griffin
Dr. Ruth

The Creative Team:

Mark St. Germain
Playwright
Kevin Connors
Director
Jim Schilling
Stage Manager
Lindsay Fuori
Scenic Design
Diane Vanderkroef
Costume Design
RJ Romeo
Lighting Design
Will Atkin
Sound Design
Claudia Stefany
Prop Design

For information on the play, upcoming plays, or to purchase tickets, please call the box office at +1-203-454-3883 or visit them on the website at www.MusicTheatreofCT.com

Upcoming Performances - 2020 - 2021

2021 Season
Dates Running
Becoming Dr. Ruth
February 5 - 21, 2021
Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical
April 9 - 25, 2021
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story
July 15 - August 1, 2021

About MTC

"Music Theatre of Connecticut is the premier provider of musical theatre performance and training. Founded in 1987, we produce an annual series of Equity productions featuring New York professionals (MTC MainStage), numerous annual student productions, and a conservatory-style School of Performing Arts with curriculum-based training for students ages four through high school, including the nationally-recognized College-Bound in the Performing Arts program for performance career-focused high school students."

The Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) was founded in 1987 by Kevin Connors (Artistic Director and Co-Founder) and Jim Schilling (Co-Founder), where MTC's focus is musical theatre performance and training.

Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT

Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Avenue
(Enter the Bright Beginnings parking lot and look for MTC's orange awning)
Norwalk, Connecticut 06851
United States
Box Office: +1-203-454-3883
Fax: +1-203-557-0496
Website: www.MusicTheatreofCT.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MusicTheatreCT
Instagram: @musictheatrect
Twitter: @musictheatrect

Follow the Music Theatre of Connecticut on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MusicTheatreCT

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February 2021. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
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