Posted: Friday, January 5, 2018 – 3:50 PM
Much has been written and said about America’s most famous First Lady Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy Onassis, hailed as an icon of style, grace and strength. However, one detail usually omitted from the story is that she was human. Award-winning playwright Tom Dugan’s one-woman drama Jackie Unveiled starring Saffron Burrows (Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle) peeks behind the façade of America’s most private public figure.
Making its world premiere in the Lovelace Studio Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) from Thursday, Feb. 22-Sunday, March 11, the drama is set against two of Jackie’s most seminal life moments, examining the deeply personal struggles of a woman who seemed to have it all. This production is made possible by gift from David C. Bohnett, chairman of The Wallis board’s executive committee.
“The Wallis is home for L.A.-based artists and work, and Jackie Unveiled is no exception,” said Paul Crewes, the organization’s artistic director. “We are proud and pleased to support and produce a piece of drama from L.A. resident Tom Dugan, who has been a part of The Wallis community for a number of years now, since his production of Wiesenthal was presented on our stage. We are also thrilled to work alongside an L.A.-based creative team led by Jenny Sullivan. I am particularly pleased to welcome fellow ex-pat Saffron Burrows, to present her wonderful interpretation of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. This is truly a story full of surprises about a woman iconically placed in our history, and in the hearts of all Americans.”
“Growing up in the 1960s I had an affinity for that pretty lady my mom admired so much on the TV who had so many troubles, but still managed to appear strong,” said Dugan. “My five years of research for Jackie Unveiled was extensive. I interviewed several of Jackie’s friends and acquaintances, combed over recently released CIA and Secret Service records, read dozens of award-winning biographies, and watched countless hours of documentaries. But, at the end of the day when it comes to Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s personal life—who knows what happened in the privacy of her own home? Jackie Unveiled is grounded in fact but it’s the playwright’s job to connect the dots. So I offer up this character of Jackie not as a long list of facts—but rather as a question. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis made it all look so easy, but what if it wasn’t?”
“I was thrilled when Tom Dugan told me he was writing a play about Jackie and asked me to join him on the journey…how could I say no?” said director Sullivan. “I was introduced to politics as my dad actively campaigned for JFK. In the early ‘60s, I literally (quite by accident) sat behind the President at Good Shepherd Church just a few blocks from The Wallis. When I had the great fortune to vote for the first time in my life, I cast my ballot for RFK. Working on this play has definitely brought back the emotions of tumultuous times and a chance to revisit it all from a new perspective. This is a rich history, and the person who had the front row seat was Jackie. I think we all speculate on the nature of this woman, her strength, her life after Jack and her place in history. Jackie Unveiled takes us on that extraordinary journey of discovering her humanity.”
“Tom Dugan’s writing is both intimate and challenging,” said Burrows. “I am excited to play this extraordinary woman, at this moment in time.”
Single tickets range from $60-$75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org/Jackie, call 310.746.4000, or visit the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills.
Audiences are invited to enjoy craft cocktails, wine or draft beer at The Briskin Bar @ The Wallis in the Jim and Eleanor Randall Grand Hall before and after each performance. Happy Hour features special drink prices from 5:30- 6:30 p.m., and all audience members can now take drinks to their seats during the performance.