America's Oldest · Founded 1808

America's Most Famous Sex Therapist Takes Center Stage With Her Own Incredible Story in BECOMING DR. RUTH! Now - Dec. 27

October 26, 2015

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatre’s 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 season continues with the fascinating life story of America’s most famous sex therapist, BECOMING DR. RUTH. Directed by Jere Lee Hodgin and starring Jane Ridley, the production begins with previews on November 17th, opens November 19th and continues through December 27th.

Audiences will hear the triumphant story of Karola Siegel, the girl that became "Dr. Ruth." When she was very young, Karola was forced to leave her family and flee from the Nazis in the Kindertransport. With no home to return to after the war, she joined the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper. She married and later divorced, becoming a single mother before moving to America to pursue her dreams as Ruth Westheimer. BECOMING DR. RUTH is filled with the humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of a girl who found her own unique place in this world as America's most famous sex therapist.

This production coincides with the release of Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer’s new book, The Doctor Is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life and Joie de Vivre. Along with the over 35 books penned by Westheimer, the Doctor also had a wildly popular radio program titled Sexually Speaking, a television show by the same name, and her own board game, The Game of Good Sex.

BECOMING DR. RUTH was written by Mark St. Germain, whose other works include Freud’s Last Session, Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah and Best of Enemies. The play had its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company, followed by a sold out run at TheaterWorks, Hartford. It premiered Off-Broadway in October, 2013, starring Debra Jo Rupp, and is now being produced in theatres nation-wide.

Director Jere Lee Hodgin has directed over 190 plays, operas and musicals during his career at numerous theatres including, Montana Rep Missoula, The Fulton Opera House, The Barter Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, Theatre Artists Studio, Phoenix Theatre and Montana Repertory Theatre. At the Walnut, he directed Mrs. Kemble’s Tempest, which starred Jane Ridley, who will join him again for BECOMING DR. RUTH. For 20 years, Hodgin was the Producing Artistic Director of Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia, where he founded the nationally recognized Norfolk Southern New Play Festival. He also served as Artistic Director for Idaho Repertory Theatre and Co-Producer/Artistic Director of Highlands Playhouse in North Carolina. Hodgin is a past president of the Southeastern Theatre Conference. He served as Vice President of the board of The National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

Jane Ridley will play the iconic Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Ridley was last seen at the Walnut on the Mainstage as Martha Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, following her performance as Mrs. Fanny Kemble in Mrs. Kemble’s Tempest. Most recently, Ridley has played Betty

Meeks in The Foreigner and Mistress Quickly in Henry V for The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Sister Aloysius Beauvier in Doubt and Dottie Gillespie in Good People at Pennsylvania Centre Stage. Regionally, she has worked for Mill Mountain Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, The Shakespeare Theatre, Round House Theatre, Barter Theatre and seasons for The Orlando, the Pennsylvania and the Utah Shakespearean Festivals. She is delighted to return to the Walnut under Hodgin’s direction for this captivating one-woman show.

Setting the stage for Dr. Ruth’s cozy home is Set Designer Andrew Thompson (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Around the World in 80 Days). Costume Designer Julia Poiesz returns having most recently designed for I Love a Piano, along with Lighting Designer Charles S. Reece (Mickle Street, Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas) and Sound and Projections Designer Zachary Beattie-Brown (Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Ethel!).

Season sponsor for the 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philly Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $35-$45 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 215-336-1234. Tickets are also available at or