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)
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.