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: 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.