Tony Nominee Kathleen Chalfant to Star in New Solo Show Off-Broadway

By: Sep. 14, 2015

Nora's Playhouse will present the World Premiere of Laurence Leamer's solo play about Rose Kennedy, ROSE, at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre, 410 West 43nd Street, NYC, beginning November 21st, opening November 29th and continuing through December 13, 2015. Award-winning stage, film and TV actress Kathleen Chalfant will play Mrs. Kennedy under the direction of Caroline Reddick Lawson. Jane Greenwood is designing the costumes with scene design/projections by Anya Klepikov, lighting by Caitlin Rapoport and sound design by Jane Shaw

ROSE is the Kennedy story as told by the matriarch who lived it all. Bestselling author Laurence Leamer's (The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men and Sons of Camelot) intimate, one-character drama is set in 1969 at the Kennedy's Hyannis Port compound the week after Teddy's fateful accident at Chappaquiddick. Rose struggles with all the tragedies the Kennedys have overcome and finds new understanding of the choices she made as well as those made by her husband and children. Inspired by audio recordings Rose Kennedy made, ROSE tells her extraordinary story, the highs and the lows, in her own words. ROSE takes the audience on a fascinating and unexpected journey with someone we think we know.

What makes Leamer's play so unique is that the playwright had unprecedented access to 40 hours of taped interviews Rose Kennedy made while working on her ghost-written autobiography. Her life spanned the entire 20th century and she witnessed and participated in every great moment in the Kennedy saga.

Named for the heroine of Ibsen's A Doll's House, Nora's Playhouse is a theatre company devoted to presenting a wide range of women's stories, told through the collaboration of women artists.

Nora's Playhouse was founded in 2009 with a commitment to shed light on women's human rights issues and women's stories. The company has presented staged readings of plays by Isabella Ides, Lily Rusek, Natalie Bates, Yasmine Beverly Rana, Dominica Radulescu, Alessandra Hirsch, Jan O'Connor, Suzanne Trauth and Nedra Pezold Roberts among others. ROSE is Nora's Playhouse's first off-Broadway production.

Ms. Lawson said: "The Nora's team is thrilled to bring to the New York stage a full production of Laurence Leamer's ROSE after shepherding the play through developmental readings over the past two years. We are honored to work with the incomparable Kathleen Chalfant to tell Rose Kennedy's complex story with such humanity."

Kathleen Chalfant, who plays Rose Kennedy, appeared on Broadway in ANGELS IN AMERICA (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), City Center ENCORES' BLOOMER GIRL, RACING DEMON, DANCE WITH ME and M. BUTTERFLY. In addition to WIT, for which she won the Drama Desk, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics Awards, Kathleen has appeared Off-Broadway in A HARD HEART, SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, 5 BY TENN, GUANTANAMO, THE LAST LETTER, TALKING HEADS; SAVANNAH BAY, FAR AWAY, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, NINE ARMENIANS (Drama Desk Nomination), TWELVE DREAMS, HENRY V (New York Shakespeare Festival), TRUE HISTORY AND REAL ADVENTURES, SISTER MARY IGNATIUS . . ., JUST SAY NO, Jules Feiffer's HOLD ME!, A WALK IN THE WOODS (Drama Desk nomination) TALES FROM RED VIENNA, SOMEWHERE FUN, RED DOG HOWLS, PAINTING CHURCHES, VITA & VIRGINIA, DEADMAN'S CELL PHONE and many more. She has worked at most of the major regional theatres across the country and appeared in films including ISN'T IT DELICIOUS, MUHAMMED ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT for HBO; DUPLICITY with Julia Roberts, THE PEOPLE SPEAK by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, THE LAST NEW YORKER, MURDER AND MURDER (written and directed by Yvonne Rainer), BOB ROBERTS, A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES and KINSEY. She is currently playing recurring roles on two TV series: The Affair and House of Cards. She has been honored with the 1996 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance; 1998 Connecticut Critics Circle Award (Wit); 2000 Ovation, Garland, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards (Los Angeles) for WIT. She received the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work.

Nora's Playhouse Co-Founder and Artistic Director Caroline Lawson's New York directing credits include Yasmine Rana's THE FALLEN at NYU Gallatin's Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre, Eiko Otake's translation and Nora's Playhouse dramatic adaptation of FROM TRINITY TO TRINITY at NYTW's 4th Street Theatre, Henrik Ibsen's A DOLL HOUSE at Wing's Theatre and Rana's THE WAR ZONE IS MY BED at the Looking Glass Theatre, the Makor, and Vol de Nuit.

Playwright Laurence Leamer's trilogy on the Kennedys--The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men and Sons of Camelot--were all New York Times bestsellers. Of his latest book, The Price of Justice, John Grisham said it was "superb...This is a book I wish I had written." Leamer is currently writing a book about three iconic Southerners: Governor George Wallace, Klan leader Robert Shelton and civil rights leader Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. ROSE is Leamer's first play.

Legendary costume designer Jane Greenwood (nominated for 19 Tony Awards for Costume Design including 2015's You Can't Take It With You, recipient of the 2014 Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement) will dress Rose. Anya Klepikov (Glass Menagerie, Triad Stage) is the scenic/projection designer, Caitlin Rapoport (Arcadia, Yale Rep) will design lighting and Jane Shaw (Jackie, Womens Project/City Center Stage II) will design the sound.

The performance schedule for ROSE is Tuesday@ 7 PM, Wednesday @ 2 & 8 PM, Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings @ 8 PM, with matinees on Saturday @ 2 PM and Sunday @ 3 PM. Tickets are $65 and available through or (212) 239-6200.

During the week of Thanksgiving, there will be an additional performance on Monday, November 23rd at 7 pm with no performances on Wednesday evening, November 25th or Thursday, November 26th.

For additional information about ROSE or Nora's Playhouse, visit


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