The Rose Tattoo


Writers: Tennessee Williams


Show Information

Number of Acts
Tony Award®
Best Play 1951
First Produced
Comedy, Drama
Period, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
1950s, Gulf Coast village, Sicilian-American community
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Large Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Female
Casting Notes
Mostly female cast
Includes adult, early teen, late teen, young adult, mature adult, elderly, child characters


In a small Sicilian-American community along the Gulf Coast, Serafina delle Rose is a fiery and passionate wife and mother. When her husband Rosario is murdered while smuggling contraband in a banana truck, Serafina shuts herself away from life and love. She ignores the town gossip--especially about Rosario’s infidelity--and lives in a stupor until her daughter Rosa declares herself in love. Frustrated and heartbroken, Serafina angrily attacks anyone who reason with her. That is, until a banana truck driver named Alvaro Mangicavallo arrives at her door. He has the body of her late husband, but the face of a clown. He awkwardly attempts to flirt and seduce--and his earnest and simple actions finally crack through Serafina’s heartbreak.

The play that Tennessee Williams called his “love-play to the world,” The Rose Tattoo is a passionate tale of superstitions, promises, and the possibility of love and passion after a broken heart. Revived on Broadway several times, The Rose Tattoo offers wit and comedy while reminding the audience to open their hearts and find hope where they least expect it.

Lead Characters

The Rose Tattoo guide sections