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San Jose Stage Company to Stage California Premiere of RFK


San Jose Stage Company launches its 33rd Season with the California Premiere of RFK, a high-stakes political drama by Jack Holmes in what the New York Magazine says is "... measured and intelligent, optimistic yet clear-eyed" and Stage Magazine proclaims is "...a work of keen insight and humanity." Directed by Randall King, The Stage's Artistic Director, this riveting historical drama stars David Arrow, an Associate Artist at The Stage, as RFK whose words, struggles and ideals come to life in this tour de force of the late politician and passionate advocate for civil rights, poverty, and discrimination.

"I'm thrilled to present this powerful work on Bobby Kennedy's remarkable life and inspiring record of social justice and civil rights," said Randall King. The values that RFK dedicated his life to - peace, justice, equality, poverty and responsibility are just as relevant today - if not more- than they were in the '60s. This particular play, at this time, reflects our current struggles with political polarization, race, poverty and equality, and of the incendiary climate toward our government and leadership," added King.

RFK the politician, husband, father, brother and member of the Kennedy dynasty is recreated with iconic, historical speeches, compelling multi-media and psychedelic rock n' roll delivering an eye witness account into the ensuing chaos of the turbulent sixties consumed by the raging civil rights movement and c

ontroversial Vietnam War.

RFK's Values, Political Impact and Local Connections

Robert F. Kennedy (Bobby Kennedy) was born in New York in 1925. After graduating law school, he served in the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division that investigated Senator Joseph McCarthy and teamster Jimmy Hoffa. After his brother John F. Kennedy was elected president, RFK was appointed attorney general and became JFK's most trusted advisor on civil rights issues. While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continually challenged Kennedy for not making a greater commitment to civil rights, Kennedy's beliefs evolved and he became an outspoken activist for social justice, civil rights, peace and hope. He would later become a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War.

Robert Kennedy's fight for equality, racial minorities, and poverty had a profound local connection with Kennedy's support of the revered Cesar Chavez and Chavez's creation of the United Farm Worker's Union, which merged with the Filipino-led, National Farm Workers Association, during the Delano Grape Boycott (1965-1970). In 1968 Kennedy traveled to Delano, California in support of Chavez, President of the UFW. There Kennedy would join an estimated 6,000-10,000 persons, mostly Mexican Americans and migrant workers whom had gathered to hold a "Mass of Thanksgiving" at Memorial Park for Cesar E. Chavez. The diminutive Chavez, who was an admirer and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and, like him, shared a deep commitment to Gandhian nonviolence, was breaking a 25-day "spiritual and penitential fast for nonviolence," as a UFW statement described the act of the devoutly Catholic Chavez.

Three months later, on the evening of June 4, Dolores Huerta, Vice President of the UFW, would share the platform with Kennedy at the Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel (now the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools) when he addressed his ecstatic supporters after winning the California Democratic presidential primary with the strong support of the Mexican American, Filipino, and Black communities.

Sadly, Kennedy was assassinated after midnight in the early morning hours of June 5, after giving his victory speech, leaving a torn nation disillusioned, grieving with despair, and robbed of hope.

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation," said Kennedy.

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