“A Day in the Life” with Actor, Writer, Director, and Producer Ruth Goodwin

Ruth Goodwin is a force. She is someone who has never shied away from something because it was ‘too hard’ or allowed anyone to tell her something can’t be done – when she knows that it can. I’ve known Ruth since we were both still listening to our Walkmen and engaging in the travesty that was dresses over jeans, and in all my time of knowing her I have never doubted for a second that Ruth is a person who will achieve great things.

Theatre was always important to Ruth, and she was the one that introduced me (and many others) to playwrights and actors I had never even heard of. She also had an uncanny ability to figure out what the ‘next big hit’ would be on both stage and screen.

Almost right out of school Ruth co-founded the highly lauded Howland Company. Named for the street here in Toronto, The Howland Company has produced some of the city’s most impressive and successful plays. One of those plays, The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, was another example of Ruth’s keen ability as both a producer and performer. After seeing the show in New York, she went to work immediately and successfully secured the rights to be the first to produce the show in Canada and then steered the show and it’s amazing team to both a Toronto Theatre Critics Association Award and a Dora Award.

Together, Ruth and I have created several shows, from our award-winning improvised farce Entrances and Exits to, most recently, a murder mystery over Instagram live during the pandemic. We have run the gamut of theatrical expression (and some shall stay buried forever). Ruth is my favourite creative partner for many reasons but the most important one has to be that when I bring any idea, no matter how half baked, the response is inevitably “Ohh I love it!” and then suddenly before my very eyes the idea becomes a reality, better and more brilliant than I could have hoped.

Ruth is now starring in the 4th season of Global TV’s Private Eyes, where she plays the most charming detective, Danica Powers. I never get tired of watching Ruth on screen or on stage and I look forward to doing more of it. Still, the most exciting thing about working with Ruth is that feeling when you know the idea you’ve been chatting about over wine is about to be elevated and made into a reality. Which is why after this I will be pushing once again for her to consider my idea “What If We Both Got Tattoos”, she hasn’t gone for it yet, but there’s still time.

-Written by Liz Johnston (The Second City, Bad Dog Theatre, Ruth’s life-long friend and writing partner)

So, this is a very glam photo of me at the crack of dawn on my way to shoot Private Eyes. My bed head is really out to play and it seems I couldn’t find a lid for my coffee but I’m not worried cause I will down it in two minutes.
So, this is a very glam photo of me at the crack of dawn on my way to shoot Private Eyes. My bed head is really out to play and it seems I couldn’t find a lid for my coffee but I’m not worried cause I will down it in two minutes.
Again here we have just a natural, totally regular day in the life for Ruth. Haha jk. This is from a photoshoot I did earlier this month with the fantastic Dane Clark. We were near this cherry picker rental shop, taking photos and suddenly someone from the company asked if we wanted to go up in the cherry pickers so we did! This is me trying to look cool as I freak out with excitement. We got some awesome photos and quite the adventure story out of that day!
Again here we have just a natural, totally regular day in the life for Ruth. Haha jk. This is from a photoshoot I did earlier this month with the fantastic Dane Clark. We were near this cherry picker rental shop, taking photos and suddenly someone from the company asked if we wanted to go up in the cherry pickers so we did! This is me trying to look cool as I freak out with excitement. We got some awesome photos and quite the adventure story out of that day!
I’ve been playing a lot of tennis lately. I used to play as a kid and on my high school team but I’ve picked it up again as a COVID safe way of seeing friends and exercising at the same time.
I’ve been playing a lot of tennis lately. I used to play as a kid and on my high school team but I’ve picked it up again as a COVID safe way of seeing friends and exercising at the same time.
More work on Strangers!
More work on Strangers!
Speaking of Strangers, here is my director’s view from behind the camera! Here you can see unbelievably talented actor, Amaka Umeh, starring in the piece. Aisha and I both acted with Amaka in a play called The Wolves in 2018 so it has been really special to work with them again, especially during such a difficult and isolating year.
Speaking of Strangers, here is my director’s view from behind the camera! Here you can see unbelievably talented actor, Amaka Umeh, starring in the piece. Aisha and I both acted with Amaka in a play called The Wolves in 2018 so it has been really special to work with them again, especially during such a difficult and isolating year.
In addition to acting, I’m also a director and producer. So, when I’m not on Private Eyes I’m working on a number of independent projects which requires a lot of Zoom Meetings right now! Here is me and my producing partner, Aisha Evelyna, talking about our new short film, Strangers which I’m currently directing.
In addition to acting, I’m also a director and producer. So, when I’m not on Private Eyes I’m working on a number of independent projects which requires a lot of Zoom Meetings right now! Here is me and my producing partner, Aisha Evelyna, talking about our new short film, Strangers which I’m currently directing.
And just like that, hair and makeup have fixed me up and Jason Priestley appears next to me! Here we are filming an investigation scene for Private Eyes. As you can see, our characters are discussing some important information on the computer, but in fact there is nothing on that screen. That’s just how good at acting we are. #behindthescenes
And just like that, hair and makeup have fixed me up and Jason Priestley appears next to me! Here we are filming an investigation scene for Private Eyes. As you can see, our characters are discussing some important information on the computer, but in fact there is nothing on that screen. That’s just how good at acting we are. #behindthescenes
I arrive to set and head straight to my trailer (Danica Powers is my character on the show). I drop off my stuff, refill my coffee and head to hair and makeup!
I arrive to set and head straight to my trailer (Danica Powers is my character on the show). I drop off my stuff, refill my coffee and head to hair and makeup!

What ‘hood are you in?

West End! Though I grew up in Toronto so I’ve lived all over the city at different times.

What do you do?

I do a bunch of things! I’m an actor, a writer, a director and a producer. I’m also one of the Founding Members of The Howland Theatre Company in Toronto.

What are you currently working on?

A few things right now. I play Danica Powers on Global TV’s Private Eyes and we’re right in the middle of shooting Season 5. I’m also in post-production for a short film I’ve directed called Strangers and I’m in pre-production to co-direct a live-streamed adaptation of a play I created with comedienne Liz Johnston (who also happens to have written my bio). We had plans to remount it on stage next year but since the theatres remain closed for the foreseeable future, we are pivoting to an exciting online version of the show in the new year!

Where can we find your work?

You can catch me on Private Eyes every Monday at 8PM on Global TV or keep up with me or The Howland Company on Instagram at @Ruth_Goodwin & @TheHowlandCompany.

 

 

About Joel Levy 2101 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography