Regent University Theatre Brings You “Dear Ruth”

Regent University Theatre proudly presents “Dear Ruth”, a love story with a comedic twist.


Dear Ruth takes place in the World War II era. When Miriam Wilkins, a 16 year old girl, secretly writes letters to a military man but signs her older sister Ruth’s name, the whole Wilkins family is surprised when Lieutenant Bill Seawright shows up at their home expecting to marry Ruth. Unbeknownst to Bill, Ruth is already engaged to be married to Albert Kummers. Bill pursues Ruth while she tries to kindly break the news to him that she is already engaged, and her fiancé Albert is forced to stand by and watch. Even more confusion occurs when Ruth thinks she may actually be falling for the military man, but who will she choose: the handsome, bold military man or the high-strung banker? Chaos, comedy, and romance come together to create this timeless show.

Lieutenant Bill Seawright, played by Judah Duncan, 18, attempts to woo the already engaged Ruth Wilkins, played by Kaitlin Clabbers, 22, Virginia Beach, V.A., Dec. 2016. (Emily Nevala)

Lieutenant Bill Seawright, played by Judah Duncan, 18, attempts to woo the already engaged Ruth Wilkins, played by Kaitlin Clabbers, 22, Virginia Beach, V.A., Dec. 2016. (Emily Nevala)

The cast

With a funny and lively plot, the cast seemed to bring the whole story to life right in front of the audience’s eyes. Judah Duncan, 18, a freshman and theater major at Regent, landed the lead role of Bill Seawright, the World War II soldier pursuing Ruth. He has been in theater for five years, and Dear Ruth is his first Regent performance. Duncan is one of the younger cast members and was surprised but excited to land such a big role in this production. He says, “We had our general auditions and that felt really good, and then they did callbacks and it was me and two graduate students up for that part. I was really intimidated by that, but once I saw the cast list I was super surprised and excited. It was really fun to get into that big of a role.”

According to Duncan, after two months of practicing and getting to know each other, everyone in the cast got along and had something to offer the show. Each person fit and acted their part well on and off the stage. The professionalism and cohesion between cast members showed in their astonishing performance.

The auditorium

The play is in the studio theater, with the audience sitting on all sides of the stage, known as “in the round.” This is a more intimate setting between the crowd and the actors which, in Duncan’s words, makes it “easier to feed off the crowd more” and “gives some allowance [for the actors] to be a little bit smaller when it comes to big expressions.”

The theme

Dear Ruth is an extraordinary story of finding love and choosing what is right but not always easy. As Ruth has to decide between two men who both love her, she must listen to her heart and make a decision that will change her life. Duncan explains, “It has a lot to do with the aspects of love and where we see ourselves in relation to it. I think it’s trying to find the role of spontaneity in love and how that can affect your life in all aspects.”

Want to go see it?

This play is definitely a crowd pleaser, and there is still time to go see it! Whether young or old, this performance is one you do not want to miss out on. This weekend there will be four more chances to go see Dear Ruth:

  • Friday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2:30 and 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m.

These are the last four showings of this exciting performance, so don’t miss out! To purchase tickets, you can visit the Regent University box office in the Communications Building (Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m.) or go online. Tickets are $10 with a Regent student ID, but if you’re light on cash at the end of the semester, ask the box office about ushering opportunities!

Emily Nevala is a contributor to The Daily Runner.