Tags: rose kennedy | play | new york

Rose Kennedy Play to Hit New York City Stage

Image: Rose Kennedy Play to Hit New York City Stage
Kathleen Chalfant will star in "Rose" at New York City's Clurman Theatre. (Indiegogo)

Saturday, 08 Aug 2015 01:15 PM

After decades in the shadow of her powerful husband, Joe, and her famous sons JFK, RFK, and Teddy, Rose Kennedy is finally getting her due.

Laurence Leamer's one-woman play "Rose," starring Kathleen Chalfant, begins a run Nov. 21 at the Clurman Theatre on 42nd Street in New York City.

At the stage reading for Rose last year, Chalfant ("Wit," "Angels in America," "House of Cards," "The Affair") held the audience in rapt attention.

Some sobbed as she portrayed the Kennedy matriarch talking about how her husband, Joseph P. Kennedy, ordered a lobotomy for their daughter, Rosemary, that left her with the mental age of a three year old.

"This is not something the world did to us,"Rose says. "This is something we did to ourselves."

"Rose" takes place the week after Chappaquiddick — the July 1969 incident in which Mary Jo Kopechne died in a car driven off a bridge by Ted Kennedy — in the living room of the Kennedy home in Hyannis Port, as Rose tries to puzzle out why the Kennedys have suffered so much tragedy.

"All my life I have avoided asking certain questions, having certain thoughts," Rose says. "But now I must know why it has come to this, to the dark, enveloping waters of Chappaquiddick."

What makes Rose so unique is that Leamer, author of the bestselling books "The Kennedy Women," "The Kennedy Men," and "Sons of Camelot," had access to 40 hours of taped interviews with the woman whose life spanned the entire 20th century and who witnessed every great moment in the Kennedy saga.

The interviews were given to Leamer by the widow of Robert Coughlan, who was ghost writer for  Rose's autobiography, and will change the way the Kennedys are viewed.

Almost as intriguing as the play is the team putting it on.

"Rose" is being presented by Nora's Playhouse, an all-women's nonprofit devoted to expanding the role of women in the theater. Leamer is the only man involved in the production.

The dream of these women is one day to have an all-women's theater in New York. They have never done anything half as ambitious as "Rose." These women are doing this without pay out of their love for theater, and the professionals involved are doing it for minimum scale.

To help fund the project, Nora's Playhouse is crowd funding via Indiegogo. The campaign is near the 50 percent mark with 18 days to go.

To help the crowdfunding effort and to see a trailer for the play on the Indiegogo, Go Here Now.

Tickets for "Rose" go on sale Aug. 15 at the Clurman box office and via Telecharge.

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After decades in the shadow of her powerful husband, Joe, and her famous sons JFK, RFK, and Teddy,Rose Kennedy is finally getting her due.
rose kennedy, play, new york
Saturday, 08 Aug 2015 01:15 PM
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