Setting, the theme of this issue, is composed of time and place. Kevin Kautzman’s play Rosemary, our drama selection, emphasizes time over place, although the place, a psychiatric ward, is important too. The play is set in 1968, soon after the assassination of Robert Kennedy, and is based on a real incident in the life of singer Rosemary Clooney.
Clooney was a friend of Kennedy and performed during his presidential campaign that summer. She was present on that fateful day at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Sirhan Sirhan shot Kennedy. His death, only a few months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., caused Clooney to suffer a nervous breakdown, the subject of Kautzman’s play. In it, she sings, reflects on the event that brought her to the hospital and spars with her sympathetic nurse. Kautzman captures the hope and disillusionment of this unique moment in modern American history through one remarkable woman’s experience. Rosemary’s courage in the face of the intolerance and violence of that turbulent era speaks to us today in a similar time where intelligent discourse and reason also seem the casualties of prejudice, fear, and despair.
We are happy to report a jump in drama/screenplay submissions from our first issue. We trust this trend will continue in the future, adding the unique voice of stage and screen to the other literary voices of Mason’s Road.