LGBTQ South Florida

One night only: Studios of Key West to pay tribute to Tennessee Williams and his sister, Rose

Cast of ‘Tennessee's Rose’: Clockwise, from left, Neal Ruchman, Mark Watson, director Rebecca Tomlinson, Susannah Wells and Connie Hurst.
Cast of ‘Tennessee's Rose’: Clockwise, from left, Neal Ruchman, Mark Watson, director Rebecca Tomlinson, Susannah Wells and Connie Hurst.

As part of the annual Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration this month, Studios of Key West on Sunday presents Tennessee’s Rose, a one-night staged reading about the playwright’s relationship with his sister, the inspiration for many of his writings.

Here’s the news release:

Love. Loss. Inspiration. Isolation. Awakenings. Tennessee Williams’ relationship with his delicate and troubled sister inspired all of these emotions. She also inspired many of the characters in his best known plays. Tennessee’s Rose, a staged reading presented for one night only at the Studios Key West, explores the impact Rose had on Tennessee Williams’ writings. It also searches for the answer Tennessee himself never found: What really happened to Rose?

“Rose Williams’ death was covered by every major news outlet in the world,” says Rebecca Tomlinson, the play’s director. “She was significant to the world because of who she was to Tennessee Williams. It made me wonder about their relationship.” Tennessee Williams was a prolific short story writer, and Tennessee’s Rose draws heavily from his short stories, particularly “The Man in the Overstuffed Chair,” “The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin,” and “Portrait of a Girl in Glass.” His short stories were often the first place he explored themes that would later become his plays, and his plays were the place he would work through the tragedies of his life – and the life of his sister.

Tennessee’s Rose draws from the plays, poetry, short stories, and interviews of Key West’s own Tennessee Williams. It will be performed at 8pm on Sunday, March 15th, at the Studios Key West. The play was developed and directed by Tomlinson and features Mark Watson, Connie Hurst, Susannah Wells, and Neal Ruchman. Tickets are $20 and available at the Studios Key West website, tskw.org.

Tennessee’s Rose is presented by The Tennessee Williams Exhibit as part of its annual Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration throughout the month of March. It includes movies, forums, poetry, and art events. For more information on the Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration, please go to the website of Tennessee Williams in Key West, twkw.org.

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