Retro Productions (Heather E. Cunningham, Artistic Director), six-time 2010 New York Innovative Theatre Awards nominee for The Desk Set, will present Norman Krasna's screwball comedy Dear Ruth May 4 through 21, 2011 at the Spoon Theater (38 West 38th St., 5th Floor).
It's WWII, and teenager Miriam Wilkins can't keep her nose out of other people's affairs. Fired up by patriotism Miriam begins a pen pal relationship with an Air Corps officer. Using her older sister Ruth's name and image, Miriam presents herself as a morale boosting love interest, never thinking for a moment that the officer would live to return home. Return he does; to the Wilkins home in Queens, to an astonished Ruth, and to Ruth's fiancé.
Dear Ruth premiered on Broadway in 1944 and ran for over 650 performances. The play was turned into a film of the same name, starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield. Legend has it that when J.D. Salinger saw the film's billboard, he decided to name his Catcher in the Rye protagonist Holden Caulfield.
Directed by Richard Roland, Dear Ruth features a cast that includes Becky Byers (2010 NYTheatre.com Person of the Year), Heather E. Cunningham (2007 Back Stage "Performance to Remember" for Still Life, Retro Productions), Shay Gines (The Lady in Question, TOSOS), Douglas B. Giorgis* (Three Wishes for Jamie), Joe Mathers (The Vigil, or the Guided Cradle, Impetuous Theater Group and Brick Theater), David Sedgwick* (Pearl Theatre Company and New York Classical Theatre), Alisha Spielmann (As You Like It and Native Speech, Boomerang Theatre Company), Matilda Szydagis* (The Desk Set, Retro Productions), and Matthew Trumbull* (The Desk Set, Retro Productions and Viral, Gideon Productions).
The Dear Ruth production team includes Jeff Stander (scenic design), Jack Cunningham (scenic consultant), Rebecca Cunningham (scenic design), Viviane Galloway (costume design), Jeannette Aultz (military costume design), Jacqueline Reid (lighting design), Jeanne Travis (sound design), Cassie Dorland (properties design), and Heather Cunningham (properties design). Ricardo Rust* serves as the production stage manager.
Performances of Dear Ruth run May 4 through 21, 2011, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm with special performances Monday, May 9th at 8:00 pm and Sunday, May 15th at 3:00 pm at The Spoon Theater (38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor; between 5th and 6th Ave.; Subway: B/D/F or 1/2/3 or N/R to 42nd St. or 7 to 5th Ave./Bryant Park). Tickets are $18 (general admission), $15 for seniors and $5 for student rush, based on availability, at www.retroproductions.org or (212) 352-3101.