Highly Recommended Reviewed by: Russell Goeltenbodt Most everyone knows the history of America’s 20th Century…
Kennedy Matriarch Rose Kennedy Portrayed in “Rose,” Beginning Aug. 19 at Greenhouse
As part of the Solo Celebration series, the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N. Lincoln Ave.) will present “Rose,” the Chicago area premiere of best-selling Kennedy biographer Laurence Leamer’s one-woman play about Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, Aug. 19 – Sept. 25. The play is directed by Goodman Theatre Producer and Artistic Collective Member Steve Scott and will star six-time Joseph Jefferson Award recipient Linda Reiter.
Based on 40 hours of previously unreleased interviews Rose Kennedy made while working on her ghost-written autobiography, “Rose” is the Kennedy story as told by the matriarch who lived it all. The intimate, one-character drama is set in 1969 at the Kennedy’s Hyannis Port compound after Teddy’s fateful accident at Chappaquiddick. As Rose struggles with all the tragedies the Kennedys have overcome, she also uncovers new questions about the choices that led to the construction of an American dynasty. “Rose” tells her extraordinary story, in her own words, taking the audience on a fascinating and unexpected journey through our not-so-distant political past.
“The Kennedys are arguably the most fascinating family in American history,” said Greenhouse Artistic Director Jacob Harvey. “Laurence Leamer was granted unprecedented access to the candid, unflinching words of Rose Kennedy as she speaks to the triumph and tragedy of a life in the public eye. Steve Scott and Linda Reiter are an unrivaled team of artists who are beautifully bringing this story out of the interview formant and onto the stage.”
Chicago-born author Laurence Leamer is an award-winning journalist and historian who has written fourteen books, many of them bestsellers. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on the Kennedy family, having written three best-selling books telling their story: “The Kennedy Women,” “The Kennedy Men” and “Sons of Camelot.” He has also written best-selling biographies of other American icons, including Johnny Carson, the Reagan family, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Steve Scott is the Producer of Goodman Theatre, where he has overseen more than 200 productions; he is also a member of Goodman’s Artistic Collective. His Goodman directing credits include “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Horton Foote’s “Blind Date,” “Rabbit Hole,” “Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock” and “No One Will Be Immune” for the David Mamet Festival, “Dinner With Friends,” “Wit,” the world premiere of Tom Mula’s “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (co-directed with Michael Maggio) and the 2011 and 2012 editions of “A Christmas Carol.” He also has directed at Silk Road Rising, American Blues Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Redtwist Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Shattered Globe Theatre, The Next Theatre Company, and many others. He is the recipient of five Jeff nominations, an After Dark Award, the Illinois Theatre Association’s Award of Honor and Eclipse Theatre Company’s Corona Award.
Linda Reiter debuted in her first solo performance in “The Testament of Mary” at Victory Gardens Theater, for which she received a Joseph Jefferson nomination for best solo performance. She is an ensemble member of Shattered Globe Theatre where she has performed in 41 productions in their 25 years, last appearing in “Marvin’s Room.” She has garnered Joseph Jefferson Awards in the non-equity category for the roles in “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “All My Sons,” “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” “Invitation to a March” and “Bondagers.” She received nominations in the equity category for “Come Back, Little Sheba,” “The Price” and “The Road to Mecca.” She also has performed at Court Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre, Goodman Theatre and Live Bait Theatre.
The creative team includes: Scenic Designer Kevin Hagen, Lighting Designer Cat Wilson, Costume Designer Rachel Lamber, Sound Designer Christopher Kriz and Stage Manager Ashley Bowman.
The preview performance schedule for “Rose” is as follows: Aug. 19 – 21 at 7:30 p.m. The press performance will be Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Regular performances are Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Flex passes to the Solo Celebration! series, which offers admissions to three plays for $99 or five plays for $164, are now on sale. Single tickets, which range in price from $34 – 48 are also on sale. Flex passes and tickets can be purchased by contacting the box office at 773-404-7336 or by visitinggreenhousetheater.org.
About Solo Celebration!
“Rose” is one of 12 plays featured in Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!,” which includes ten full productions, two limited engagements and other special events running June 2016 through February 2017. Among the other directors connected to solo series are Goodman Theatre Producer and Artistic Collective Member Steve Scott, Writer’s Theatre Resident Director Kimberly Senior, Directors Lab Chicago Artistic Director Elizabeth Margolius and Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Linda Gillum. Some of the performers confirmed to star in solo works include Jeff Award-winners Kate Buddeke, Gene Weygandt, Linda Reiter acclaimed British actor Simon Slater, Will Allan and Carin Silkaitis. Most productions will be produced in their entirety by Greenhouse, while other plays will be stated with co-producers including Sideshow Theatre Company and The Other Theatre Company. Greenhouse’s “Solo Celebration!” is co-produced by Forum Productions and underwritten by the Wendy and William Spatz Charitable Foundation.
About the Greenhouse Theater Center.
The Greenhouse Theater Center is a nonprofit performance venue located at 2257 N Lincoln Ave, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Our complex offers two newly remodeled 190-seat main stage spaces, two 60-seat studio theaters, an in-house rehearsal room, and Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre book store.
Our mission at the Greenhouse is first and foremost to grow local theatre. We strive to cultivate a fertile environment for local artists, from individual renters to our bevy of resident companies, to develop and produce their work. In 2014 alone, The Greenhouse Theater Center provided space for almost 1,000 ticketed performances, serving more than 54,000 patrons. Among these events were at least 30 productions by our resident companies, including the celebrated American Blues Theater and Remy Bumpo Theatre Company. Through our Trellis Program, we offer the community affordable access to our work by housing Chicago’s only dedicated used theatre bookstore, located on the second floor of our complex, as well as offering a free reading series each Tuesday night where local artists workshop their latest scripts. Additionally, we also continue to play an active role in cultivating and nurturing our community through continued partnerships with the League of Chicago Theaters and local Chambers of Commerce.
As of 2016, the Greenhouse Theater Center embraced the true spirit of growth and launched its producing entity. With the announcement of our 8 month long Solo Celebration Series, helmed by Artistic Director Jacob Harvey, we will produce 12 solo plays from June 2016 to February 2017. Through this inaugural effort, we hope to expand the solo play cannon while also cultivating a larger conversation about the possibilities of the one-person play.
With new ideas always incubating, the Greenhouse Theater Center is flourishing.