Bobbie Ruth of Roslyn Heights is spending her weekends in the land of fairies and royalty.
Ruth, a Roslyn Heights resident for more than 25 years, plays Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazon, and the fairy servant Peaseblossom in the production running Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. through Nov. 12 at The Merrick Theater and Center for the Arts at 2222 Hewlett Ave.
“I’ve been a professional singer all my life,” Ruth, who spends her days as a freelance court reporter, said. “My parents were both professional musicians as well as my brother, and I was part of a family act from the time I was 10 in New York. I really was not an actress until about 12 years ago, and once I fell into it, I fell in love with it.”
Ruth is in her second run as Queen Hippolyta. She performed the role with a now closed theater in Bay Shore and said the current production gave new meaning to the familiar words thanks to director Mark DeCaterina of Patchogue.
The characters of the show speak in three distinctly different styles, and Ruth said DeCaterina broke down the differences between the styles and did many vocal exercises to help the actors keep their breath for the sometimes lengthy Shakespearean lines.
“[DeCaterina] discussed the way the prose goes, the way the rhyme goes, where you stop and where you continue,” Ruth said. “He really was the most interesting director I’ve ever worked with and to do Shakespeare is not an easy thing, and he really made it wonderful.”
Ruth, a professional singer and belly dancer, weaves all her talents into the two roles, singing original songs incorporated into the production and dances with a sword balanced on her head at the top of the show.
Ruth also performs with her drummer husband Rob “Sticks” Levy in the Swingtime Big Band throughout New York. Ruth said her two children, Scott and Bettina, are also involved in the arts.
“Even if you don’t understand Shakespearean language, the laughs are all there, the jokes are there and the characters come alive,” Ruth said. “So far, the audience is loving it.”