Meet the Cast of ‘The City of Conversation’ at Colonial Players of Annapolis. Part 3: Kathleen Ruttum

In part three of a series of interviews with the cast of Colonial Players of Annapolis’ The City of Conversation, meet Kathleen Ruttum.

Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where local audiences have seen you recently on the stage?

Kathleen Clarke-Ruttum. Photo courtesy of Colonial Players of Annapolis.

Kathleen: My name is Kathleen Ruttum and I was recently seen as Esther in the Bay Theater’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Price.

Why did you want to be part of the cast of The City of Conversation?

I thought the play was well written, witty and very relevant.

Who do you play in the show? How do you relate to him or her? What traits do you share? Does this character remind you of a similar character that you have played before?

I play the character of Hester Ferris. Hester is the doyenne of the Georgetown political scene during the late 1970’s to the present day. She is very different from other characters I have played. I share many character traits with Hester; she might just be the character that I feel most resembles me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily agree with the choices she makes, but I love portraying this woman making a choice.

What is The City of Conversation about from the point of view of your character?

Hester believes wholeheartedly that Georgetown is an “arm of the government.” She believes in the power of bi-partisanship to move an agenda forward. She does this with her dinner parties and by inviting various brilliant minds to work together to achieve particular political goals. However, it is also about a family. Perhaps a non-traditional family, but a family nonetheless. It’s about the choices we make and the ramifications of those choices. I would have to say that this is a family story set in a political setting, not a political story set in a family setting.

How has this election affected or influenced how you are playing your character? What was the best advice your director Ruben Vellekoop gave you on how to play your role?

Ruben is truly an actors’ director. From the very first read-through he was extremely collaborative. I have found many of notes to be of importance, but I think the one that resonates is him telling me that this show is not just about one thing, and we have to bring that idea to the audience; it’s not just about gay rights, women’s rights or civil rights…it is all of these things.

Why should local theatergoers come and see The City of Conversation?

Because it is a well written and directed play. I am honored to be sharing the stage with such talent.

What’s next for you on the stage?

Not really sure. But I’ll know when I see it.

The City of Conversation plays January 13-28, 2017 at Colonial Players of Annapolis – 108 East Street, in Annapolis, MD. For tickets, call the box office at 94100 268-7373, or purchase them online.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.


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