Meet Ruth and Estelle:
Amanda Jill Robinson and
Jenna Pinchbeck have teamed up to
bring the vibrant edu-comedy duo Ruth and
Estelle to the City of Brotherly Love.
Whether we’re performing at an event, teaching our master class, or hosting our podcast, "Learning Through Laughter",
we are dedicated to creating engaging, joy-filled, inclusive experiences through bold
storytelling, humor and heart.
Who Are We?
On a winter night in 2014, while rehearsing for a holiday cabaret, Amanda and Jenna started playing around as two spunky, big-hearted, open-minded broads with a love of cocktails and rock n’ roll. We never could have imagined that six years later, these women would not only teach and entertain, but become our way of putting something positive into the world.
Our most recent endeavor was writing, producing, and performing our world premiere play, Ruth and Estelle’s A Sequins of Fortunate Events for the 2020 Philly Theatre Week. The show was an opportunity for us to pluck Ruth and Estelle from their improv roots, plant them in a scripted environment, and see how they could grow. Set in the Summer of ‘69, Sequins tells the story of Ruth and Estelle’s move from Toledo, Ohio to New York City with nothing but a box truck and a dream of making it in theatre. What they find instead is an unexpected and wildly successful Love Coaching career in Greenwich Village, and a community of friends that become some of their dearest family.
Audience Comments and Reviews
“The whole little production is big. Awesome acting, writing, staging, flow/structure/pacing.”
“I’ve laughed harder at this show than the last four shows I’ve seen and I paid hundreds of dollars to see them.”
“You guys should get a tape (recording) of it into the hands of someone like Tina Fey. Seriously. She'd love it.”
“Listening to them speak was like watching the familiarity with my best friends. We are loud. We are fun. We are like sisters. We forge a web of love between us that sometimes can’t be understood. That forge of love has gotten us all through divorces, marriage, and childbirth and beyond. Ruth and Estelle have that same bond of friendship...” -ToiTime.com
Our Masta Class:
Created by Amanda Jill Robinson and Jenna Pinchbeck, Masta Class is designed to unite a classroom in unearthing and celebrating the uniqueness of every student’s artistry.
Much like a traditional master class, students will partake in a series of vocal and physical warmups and receive one-on-one feedback and suggestions while exploring the world of their song—but with a twist. During the class, we as teachers play Ruth and Estelle, a dynamic pair of educators and entertainers who got their acclaim by coaching the original cast of Cats. We hope to inspire students to delve just as deeply into the minds of the characters in their songs.
We approach our coaching through a lens of joy and play, encouraging a dive into the silly to bring out a song’s underlying truth. We believe in the power of laughter and its unique ability to level a playing field. When we laugh together, we can learn together and leave all judgement and self-doubt at the door where it belongs.
“I felt freer and warmed up to focus on my intentions and obstacles in the song.”
“I actually felt very comfortable with a little bit of silly. This is not a bad thing. I think it helped me get out of my head and not be hard on myself. The energy in the room was so warm and I didn't feel judged or that I had to prove myself.”
“I feel as though other classes are stressful for me with the need to perform for my classmates...The way R&E explained the adjustment seemed like a hoot and made me want to do it and not stress about it.”
“I enjoyed the exercises that Ruth and Estelle gave me because it allowed me to explore some more 'extreme' motivations/emotions of the song. Going to these extremes, I found, helped me find some interesting tidbits to latch onto and use. Because of this, I tried some new things emotionally and physically and it felt good!“
Our Podcast: Learning Through Laughter
"The latest Relevant Tangent... went on to be a discussion about the importance of everyone's individual stories, the fear of taking up space and finding your voice.
Yesterday was one of those days where I watched the news and saw the atrocities being done to people based on the color of their skin or the religion they follow and I just laid in bed feeling hopeless. I despaired that I wasn’t doing enough to help. I wondered if being an artist and making creative work in these times really helps at all. I needed to hear Ruth and Estelle have this conversation. Their vulnerability and courage gave me encouragement that I’m not alone. Art has always been an effective tool for the marginalized and for resistance. I want to keep making ways for those voices to be heard. For the silenced stories to be told.
Learning Through Laughter is so much more than a comedy podcast or a Philadelphia arts podcast. It’s a joyful celebration of humanity and positive expression. In these dark days, it’s nice to know that we have people like Ruth and Estelle to keep us smiling and filled with hope." - Shaun, a dear Listener
Watch them in action! Here's a preview of Ruth and Estelle's masterclass in prepping for your next pop/rock audition.
In 2017, the duo hosted Nightcap's annual Our Boys of Summer cabaret and presented their second solo show, A Midsummer Master Class, both of which were nominated for "Best Special Event" for the 2017 BroadwayWorld Philadelphia Awards.
You fine young people may even follow them on the social medias like FaceSpace and Instagran @RuthandEstelle