FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Becoming Dr. Ruth
By Mark St. Germain
Directed by David Ellenstein
From: Nancy Richards
Office: 858-481-1055 ext. 220
NORTH COAST REPERTORY THEATRE PROUDLY PRESENTS
RENOWNED BROADWAY STAR TOVAH FELDSHUH IN
BECOMING DR. RUTH
By Mark St. Germain
Directed By David Ellenstein
Streaming June 9 – July 4, 2021
Solana Beach, Calif. Most know Ruth K. Westheimer as Dr. Ruth, the extraordinary sex educator who empowered millions across the globe to claim their own sexual pleasure and fulfillment. Few know the whole story of losing her family in the Holocaust, her emigration to Israel where she became a sniper for the Haganah, or the complex personal journey that led her to fame and celebrity status. In Mark St. Germain’s compelling solo showcase, Ruth graciously invites the audience into her living room, chatting in her inimitable fashion while revealing the often-astonishing details of her unbelievable life.
Six-time Tony and Emmy nominee Tovah Feldshuh, is the industry standard for playing iconic Jewish women from Golda Meir to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In BECOMING DR. RUTH, Feldshuh (TV’s “Law & Order,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and “The Walking Dead”) deftly inhabits the warm, wise, witty persona of the beloved media figure. “Tovah is pitch-perfect in the role of Dr. Ruth. We’re so delighted to have her performing on North Coast Rep’s intimate mainstage,” said Artistic Director David Ellenstein. ”We expect BECOMING DR. RUTH to be a smash hit in our streaming season.” The production will be directed by David Ellenstein.
This production will be filmed for streaming following all COVID safety guidelines from the CDC, SD County and Actors Equity Association. Audiences will see a full theatrical production directed by David Ellenstein with sets by Scenic Designer Marty Burnett, costumes by Elisa Benzoni, and Prop Design Phillip Korth. Wig Design Peter Herman and Stage Manager, Cinematographer/editor Aaron Rumley filmed the show. Reserve your tickets now for this breezy, thoroughly engaging evening of theatre, even as it explores some of the darkest chapters of the past century.
BECOMING DR. RUTH will stream on Showtix4U.com on demand from JUNE 9 to JULY 4, 2021. Runtime is 90 minutes.
MARK ST. GERMAIN (Playwright) His play Freud’s Last Session ran for two years Off-Broadway, closing July 24th, 2012. The play has been open in Argentina since January 2012 and in repertory in Sweden, Australia, and Denmark. His play Becoming Dr. Ruth premiered in July 2012 at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, played at Hartford Theaterworks, and was brought to NYC to the Westside Theatre. Scott And Hem In The Garden Of Allah co-premiered in the summer of 2013 at the Contemporary American Theater Festival and Barrington Stage Company. His play The Best Of Enemies, first produced by the Barrington Stage Company, is now being produced throughout the country. The Fabulous Lipitones, a musical comedy co-written with John Markus, premiered at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta in summer, 2013, and then at Goodspeed Playhouse. Mark’s other plays include Camping With Henry And Tom (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Ears On A Beatle, The God Committee, Out Of Gas On Lover’s Leap, and Dancing Lessons (premiered at the Barrington Stage Festival). Mark wrote the Tammy Wynette Musical Stand By Your Man, which began at the Ryman Theater in Nashville. With composer Charles Strouse he co-wrote the book for his adaption of Dreiser’s American Tragedy. With composer Randy Courts Mark has written the perennial musical The Gifts Of The Magi as well as Johnny Pye And The Foolkiller (AT&T Award Grant) and Jack’s Holiday (Playwrights Horizons). Television work includes Writer/Creative Consultant for “The Cosby Show” and Dick Wolf’s “Crime and Punishment.” He co-wrote director Carroll Ballard’s film “Duma” and produced and directed the documentary “My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story,” with Richard Gere, Glenn Close, Edward Albee and others. Mark also wrote the award-winning children’s book “Three Cups.” Mark is an Associate Artist of the Barrington Stage Company, a recipient of the William Inge Festival’s New Voices Award, and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writer’s Guild East. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists.
DAVID ELLENSTEIN (Director) Born into a theatrical family, David has worked in theatres across the country. Before joining North Coast Rep in 2003 he served as Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Repertory Company and the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company (AJTC). A veteran of over 250 theatrical productions, directorial favorites include: North Coast Rep (Streaming) Einstein Comes Through, Trying, A Christmas Carol, An Iliad, and Same Time, Next Year, – (LIVE) The Outsider, All in the Timing, Holmes & Watson, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Father, This Random World, Travels with My Aunt, The Illusion, Hedda Gabler (World Premiere Translation), Way Downriver; William Faulkner’s ‘Old Man’ (West Coast Premiere), Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush (World Premiere), Side By Side By Sondheim, Chapter Two, Freud’s Last Session (San Diego Premiere), Faded Glory (World Premiere), Mandate Memories (World Premiere), Becoming Cuba (World Premiere), Time Stands Still, Words by: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook (World Premiere), Two by Pinter: The Lover and The Dumb Waiter, HENRY IV Part 1, Heroes, My Name is Asher Lev, The Drawer Boy, Becky’s New Car, Ghosts, The Tempest, Talley’s Folly, Over the Tavern, Old Wicked Songs, The Dresser, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Madagascar, A Shayna Maidel, The Honky-Tonk Angels, Rashomon, A Moon for the Misbegotten; Tuesdays With Morrie; Collected Stories; Halpern and Johnson; Romeo and Juliet; Amy’s View; Einstein Comes Through (also co-author); The Chosen; A Life in the Theatre; Story Theatre and Charley’s Aunt. Coconut Grove Playhouse – Sonia Flew starring Lucie Arnaz; Halpern and Johnson starring Hal Linden and Brian Murray. Papermill Playhouse – The Chosen starring Theodore Bikel and John Lloyd Young. 59E59 – His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley. Park Square & Colony Theatre – Words By. Portland Stage – Halpern and Johnson. Renaissance Theatre – Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix – Rabbit Hole. Alabama Shakespeare Festival – The Glass Menagerie, Rocket City (World Premiere) and Honky-Tonk Angels. Laguna Playhouse – Chapatti, Alexandros (World Premiere). Southwest Shakespeare Company – Cyrano de Bergerac. AJTC – Awake and Sing. Meadow Brook Theatre – A Christmas Carol. Portland Rep – Conversations with My Father and Gaslamp Quarter Theatre – A Shayna Maidel. Winner of numerous theatre awards, including the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for “2018 Director of the Year.”
In the last 10 months, during the Pandemic, he has directed filmed plays online: Becoming Dr. Ruth, Einstein Comes Through, Trying, An Iliad, A Christmas Carol, and Same Time Next Year.
TOVAH FELDSHUH* (Ruth Westheimer) is a six-time Emmy & Tony nominee and has been awarded three honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. Additionally, for her theatre work, she has won four Drama Desks, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Dramalogues, the Obie, the Theatre World, and the Helen Hayes and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Actress. She has just been twice nominated as Best Actress in a Drama in Los Angeles for her work in the play Sisters-in-Law, in which she originated the role of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
On the Page: Ms. Feldshuh recently won the prestigious Audie award for her narration of “The Gift” by Holocaust-survivor, Dr. Edith Eger. Tovah’s first memoir, “Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played,” published by Hachette Book Group, came out April 13, and has been chosen as a “Must Read” by Good Morning America and Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best Biography and Memoir. “Lilyville” can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Indie Bound and more. See www.tovahfeldshuh.com/lilyville for more information and to order.
On the Stage: Broadway: Yentl, Cyrano, Rodgers & Hart, Dreyfus in Rehearsal, Sarava!, Lend Me a Tenor, Golda’s Balcony, Irena’s Vow, and the show-stopping, trapeze-swinging Berthe in Pippin. Off-Broadway and around the country: Dozens of productions playing everything from three queens of Henry VIII and Tallulah Bankhead to Yussel “The Muscle” Jacobs, nine Jews from birth to death in Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! and, most recently, Holocaust denier Brenda Goodsen opposite Ed Asner in The Soap Myth. In the pre-COVID summer, she starred in the world premiere of Wade Dooley’s The Prompter directed by Scott Schwartz, where she played Irene Young, a legendary diva making her Broadway comeback after a 40-year absence. Immediately on the heels of The Prompter, she filmed Clifford for Paramount Pictures, traveled to the Sing-Sing in New Guinea, and flew from there to Los Angeles to star as RBG in the LA premiere of Jonathan Shapiro’s Sisters-In-Law.
On TV: Deanna Monroe on “The Walking Dead,” Danielle Melnick on “Law & Order,” POTUS Pauline Mackenzie on “Salvation,” and Naomi Bunch on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” where Feldshuh can be seen singing the dignified showstopper: “Where’s the Bathroom!” In February of 2021, she completed filming Scenes from a Marriage for HBO playing Oscar Isaac’s mother, Miryam.
On Film: “Kissing Jessica Stein” (Golden Satellite Award),”A Walk on the Moon, “Brewster’s Millions,” “Just My Luck,” “Daniel,” “The Idolmaker,” and most recently, Ms. Feldshuh’s award-winning performance as Prime Minister Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony has been made into a film entitled “Golda’s Balcony The Film,” which has won 21 out of 21 Audience Choice Awards. Before the pandemic, she completed filming Edith Hagigi’s “BLEECKER” with Ben Stiller.
Her concert, Tovah: Out of Her Mind!, was voted Best One-Woman Show of the Year by the Boston Globe. Her other one-woman shows, “Tovah is LEONA!” and “Aging is Optional” enjoyed sold-out engagements in New York, San Francisco, Boca Raton and Delray. She’s the wife of New York attorney, Andrew Harris Levy, the mother of Brandon, married to Jami, and Amanda, married to Joel, and the grandmother of Rafael Levi, Sidney Mei, and Camille Willa. Follow Tovah’s pre-pandemic travels around the world on Instagram @tovahfeld. www.tovahfeldshuh.com
*Actors’ Equity Union
AARON RUMLEY (Cinematographer/Editor) has worked on over 120 shows at North Coast Rep, over 50 as a stage manager, over 20 as a designer.
MARTY BURNETT (Set Design) Resident Designer at North Coast Rep since 1992 and has designed more than 200 productions for the theater. Other design venues include Sahara and Hacienda hotels in Las Vegas, Claridge Hotel, Atlantic City and Drury Lane Chicago.
ELISA BENZONI (Costume Design) is thrilled to be working on her sixth season at
North Coast Rep including numerous Craig Noel nominated productions. Elisa has also worked on over a hundred productions across Southern California with theatres such as The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Diversionary Theatre and New Village Arts. Being Italian born, Elisa has also had the opportunity to work and perfect her craft in Europe. Elisa holds a costume design M.F.A. from UCSD where she currently is an adjunct professor. www.elisabenzoni.com.
PHILLIP KORTH (COVID-19 Compliance Officer/Props) is an actor, writer, craftsman, and educator. He earned BA in Acting and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and his MFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut. He is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Iraq. In addition to designing and managing props for NCRT, Phillip is also the Education Associate at The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep.
PETER HERMAN (Wig Design) has previously designed wigs for over 30 North Coast Rep productions. Peter teaches wig and makeup design at San Diego State University. He is glad to be part of the creative team on this show.
About the North Coast Repertory Theatre:
North Coast Repertory Theatre, under the artistic leadership of David Ellenstein since 2003, is a professional Equity theatre founded in 1982 by Olive and Tom Blakistone. Currently celebrating its 39th season, North Coast Rep has received critical acclaim from media and audiences alike, and has evolved into one of the area’s leading performing arts organizations. North Coast Rep prides itself on employing the majority of its actors from Actors’ Equity Association for its high quality, award-winning productions, and staging works by established and emerging playwrights. Throughout its history, North Coast Rep has created a platform where artist and audience thrive through the intimacy of live theatre, recognizing the power of theatre to challenge complacency, revitalize the imagination, nurture the unexpected, and embrace the variety and diversity in our lives.
North Coast Rep’s final show of the season will be Dr. Glas by Jeffrey Hatcher.
This psychological thriller slowly unravels a life-and-death moral dilemma of passion and desire with humor and intrigue. Starring Obie winner Daniel Gerroll (TV’s “The Blacklist) and (film “Chariots of Fire), this World Premiere of the streamed production of DR. GLAS is a gripping finale to North Coast Rep’s streaming season. Reserve your tickets now.