SEPTEMBER 24 - 27, 2020

The Rose Tattoo at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Rose Tattoo

by Tennessee Williams

Festival star Irene Glezos explodes as the Sicilian widow Serafina in this luscious Williams fable of loss, faith, and rebirth.

directed by Dana Greenfield

featuring Irene Glezos

Moon Lake Productions

New York, NY


This show was presented Sept 27-30, 2018
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After the fiery death of her husband, Serafina, the village seamstress, shuts herself in her cottage and makes an altar of his ashes. But Serafina has, as she says “A wild thing in the house” -- her 17-year-old daughter Rosa delle Rose.

Set in a close-knit Sicilian-American enclave on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, The Rose Tattoo is arguably Williams’ most joyful play, which The New York Times calls “an intoxicating fairy tale for grown-ups.”

Festival favorite Irene Glezos (Orpheus Descending, 2010 and 2011; In the Summer House, 2013 and 2014) returns in a tour-de-force as Serafina. The Festival production comes from New York City and is directed by Dana Greenfield.

About the Play

Sunk in despair, slovenly and disheveled, Serafina refuses the advice of the village women to enjoy life, mocks the instructions of the village priest, and rages against the gossip about her husband. Serafina’s devotion leads to unexpected rewards. Rosa meets a visiting sailor at the high school dance, and a young truck driver with the body of a god and the face of a clown breaks down in Serafina’s front yard.

The play premiered on Broadway in 1951, starring Maureen Stapleton and Eli Wallach, and won Tony awards for best play, both its leading performers, and for Boris Aronson’s set design. The movie, starring Anna Magnani and Burt Lancaster, won three Oscars, including for Magnani. The 1957 production in Dublin, Ireland was interrupted by the Irish police because an actor mimed a condom dropping onto Serafina’s floor.

Triumphantly passionate, The Rose Tattoo was dedicated to Frank Merlo, Williams’ long-time Sicilian-American lover “in return for Sicily.” In his Memoirs, Williams wrote the play was his “love-play to the world,” “permeated with the happy young love for Frankie."

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