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Picnic

Picnic
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: William Inge
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 77
Pub. Date: 1955
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 08222089210
ISBN-13: 9780822208921
Cast Size: 7 female, 4 male

About the Play:

Picnic has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female/Female Scenes and Female/Male Scenes.

Picnic is a full-length drama by William Inge. Bobby-soxers, Jitterbugs and hot rods come together on a Labour Day weekend in 1950's small-town middle-America. The lives of two young women are turned on their heads when a handsome stranger arrives – a boy with a certain past and a less certain future. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

Picnic takes place on a balmy Labour Day weekend in the joint backyards of two middle-aged widows. The one house belongs to Flo Owens, who lives there with her two maturing daughters, Madge and Millie, and a boarder who is a spinster school teacher. The other house belongs to Helen Potts, who lives with her elderly and invalid mother. Into this female atmosphere comes a young man named Hal Carter, whose animal vitality seriously upsets the entire group. Hal is a most interesting character, a child of parents who ignored him, self-conscious of his failings and his position behind the eight ball. Flo is sensitively wary of temptations for her daughters. Madge, bored with being only a beauty, sacrifices her chances for a wealthy marriage for the excitement Hal promises. Her sister, Millie, finds her balance for the first time through the stranger's brief attention. And the spinster is stirred to make an issue out of the dangling courtship that has brightened her life in a dreary, minor way. William Inge's tender, lyrical, Pulitzer Prize winning play explores the themes of love, morality and following one's heart.

Picnic premiered in 1953 on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre and won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play also won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play of the season. The show was revived on Broadway in 1994, and again in 2013, has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops, and is regularly performed in regional repertory, middle school, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 7 female, 4 male

What people say:

"Having one good play to his credit, William Inge now has another play, Picnic…and memorable though Come Back, Little Sheba was three seasons ago, Picnic is a notable improvement." — New York Times

About the Playwright:

William Inge (1913-1973) may justifiably be called the first playwright to examine the American Midwest and its people. He was born in Independence, Kansas, and was educated at the University of Kansas. After working as a teacher and an actor, he became the drama critic for the St. Louis Star-Times. During the 1950s and early '60s, no other American dramatist with the exception of Tennessee Williams could compare with William Inge in his prominence on the Broadway stage and in films. As Tennessee Williams tapped into the mannerisms and neuroses of the American South, Inge did much the same for the Midwest racking up a stunning track record on Broadway — four plays, four hits — and all of his theatrical successes were turned into big-budget Hollywood movies with blue-chip casts. Like Williams, he also occasionally wrote film scripts, and he won an Oscar for Splendor in the Grass.

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