The 7th Annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis (TWStL) returns for its seventh year, giving center stage to a newly reimagined and sensual Fellini-esque production of William’s romantic Sicilian love story The Rose Tattoo, directed by David Kaplan and performed in the Big Top in the Grand Arts Center.
“This year we celebrate the resilience of love, passion, community, art and the human spirit” said Carrie Houk, TWStL Executive Artistic Director. “How delightful to be moving into the light of 2022 with productions embracing the magnificence of those who ventured from abroad to begin anew. Saluti and avanti!”
The Rose Tattoo tells the story of love, death, and resilience in a downtrodden but hopeful 1940’s immigrant Sicilian community. Serafina delle Rose clings madly to her Italian identity, to the fanciful memory of her murdered husband, and to her free-spirited daughter. Will she find love with the banana truck driver? Are all the rose tattoos a sign?
Introducing the theme of an Italian circus, Kaplan’s take on Williams’ classic features aerialists, animals, singers and musicians. He surrounds Serafina with a dozen circus performers – including a ringmaster, a strongman, trapeze artists, and clowns – who perform the full text of the play.
“This St. Louis Rose Tattoo is performed in a circus as a circus, the better to share what Williams called his ‘limitless world of the dream,’” said Kaplan. “Live goats, accordions, impassioned acting, a play that celebrates the wisdom of desire. What’s not to like?”