New City Stage Presents Philadelphia Premiere of Robert F. Kennedy Biographical Play at Adrienne Theatre Just in Time for Election Season

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New City Stage Company presents the Philadelphia premiere of RFK at the Adrienne Theatre October 3 -- 21, 2012 and again November 4 & 5, starring film and television actor Russ Widdall.

Russ Widdall as Senator Robert F. Kennedy in New City Stage's "RFK".

Russ Widdall as Senator Robert F. Kennedy in New City Stage's "RFK".

While it's easy to boil down the mystique of the Kennedys to the tragedies that befell them, what truly defines them are the decisions they faced and the moral character they displayed.

New City Stage Company is thrilled to present the Philadelphia premiere of “RFK” by Jack Holmes this fall, October 3 -- 21, 2012 at the Adrienne Theatre Second Stage and 2 additional benefit performances on November 4 & 5 at the Playground at the Adrienne. Just in time for election season! This play is a historically accurate solo performance which biographies the last 4 years of politician Robert F. Kennedy’s life, from 1964 to 1968, and features music, film and footage from the era. Tickets go on sale to the general public August 15. Information is available at and by calling (215) 563-7500.

This show was originally scheduled to be produced at a site specific location on the Avenue of the Arts with very limited seating but after a large amount of interest was generated by high schools, universities and senior groups, New City decided to move the 3 week run to the Adrienne Theatre to accommodate the group requests placed by many local schools and colleges.

Additionally, New City Stage Company has recently expanded their educational programming to include continuing education, particularly senior citizens and other unrepresented groups. There have been 2 benefit performances added to the schedule, which will also be preformed at the Adrienne Theatre, but in the larger venue on the first floor -- The Playground. This performance is open to senior groups of 10 or more, with a particular emphasis on bringing in those from assisted living and nursing home communities. The goals of these performances to to bring art to those with less access to it. Tickets to these 2 performances are complimentary. Both performances feature a talk back with the actor, director, dramaturg and a local political professional, as well as light refreshments.

Individual tickets and subscriptions go on sale on August 15. Tickets can be purchased by visiting our web site.

Student groups, particularly university and high school students studying political science, are given priority when purchasing tickets. Reservations can be made now by contacting the Educational Artistic Associate Kevin Rodden at (215) 563-7500 ext. 7 or via email at Kevin(dot)Rodden(at)NewCityStage(dot)org.

Senior groups and organizations interested in attending either of the complimentary performances on November 4 or 5 should contact Group Sales Artistic Associate Katherine Perry at Katherine(dot)Perry(at)NewCityStage(dot)org or by calling (215) 563-7500 ext. 1.

Teachers and professors bringing student groups of 8 or more will receive the discounted student rate for tickets, as well as 1 complimentary chaperone ticket per 10 student tickets purchased. New City has a study guide that will be available as of September 1st that all ticket holders are entitled to. Please inquire in advance to have copies printed or emailed to your group.

The show begins in 1964 when President Johnson decided not to ask Senator Kennedy to be his running mate up until RFK’s untimely assassination during the 1968 presidential election. It also includes background information on his personal life as well as his relationships with brother President John F. Kennedy, sister-in-law Jacqueline Kennedy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Russ Widdall had been performing professionally in Philadelphia and nationally for over 20 years and has been Co-Artistic Director at New City Stage Company for 3 years. He has performed in television, film and theatre, featuring several productions at the Walnut Street Theatre and the regular role of Ron Lowenthal on HBO’s “The Wire.” “RFK” will be his third one-man show. He performed Sam Shepard’s poetry monologues “Savage/Love” and “Tongues” for New City Stage during the 2011 Philadelphia Fringe and Live Arts Festival and it was revived for 5 performances in the spring of this year. The show has also been invited to participate in the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Mr. Widdall’s ability as a solo performer has contributed greatly to its success. He also has recent experience working in an educational context and mentoring college students, having been hired several times by the University of the Arts to participate in productions and staged readings.

New City Stage’s overall objective for this project is to create a dialogue about politics amongst college students who are voting for the first time, as well as senior citizens and other under-served populations. As Educational Artistic Associate Kevin Rodden has noted, there are many parallels between the Obama administration and the Kennedy era. “RFK's impassioned pleas for social justice speak to a rare breed of political animal: a man willing to break with his party on conviction; a man for whom great intelligence is a cross to bear, and a gift to share; a man who shared a dream with the Man who had a Dream.”

This educational theatre production is being generously funded by the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, Bank of America, and the Wyncote Foundation.

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Ginger Dayle
New City Stage Company
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