by William Inge
March 23 - April 14, 2007
Directed by Michael Payne
Playwright William Inge received numerous awards for this romantic comedy-drama,
including the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Set in a small Kansas town, we see two households preparing for the town's
annual Labor Day picnic. In one house lives Mrs. Potts who cares for her elderly
mother. Next door lives Mrs. Owens, a single mother with two teen-aged
daughters, Madge and Millie.
to make ends meet, Mrs. Owens takes in women boarders, such as unmarried school
teacher Rosemary Sydney. It is the early 1950s, and it seems that there are few
options for any of the ladies in their small town. Miss Sydney is desperate for
a husband, but both of the teen-aged young ladies yearn for more than a life of
Potts hires Hal, a handsome drifter, to do odd jobs around her house, he sets
all the ladies a-flutter. Hal and Madge, in particular, strike instant romantic
sparks. Soon, Madge must decide whether to play it safe with her stable,
hometown boyfriend or follow her heart with the dangerously unreliable Hal.
Ultimately, playwright Inge depicts the pleasure and pain of risking everything
to choose one’s own path in life.
Besides the Pulitzer Prize, William Inge also won the Drama Critics Circle
Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Theatre Club Award for PICNIC.
Having grown up in Independence, Kansas, he set both BUS STOP and PICNIC in
small Kansas towns, while his play THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS is set in a
small town near Oklahoma City. Many of his plays became successful films,
including PICNIC, BUS STOP, COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA, and THE DARK AT THE TOP OF
THE STAIRS. Inge also received the Oscar in 1962 for his original screenplay of
SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS.
Carpenter Square Theatre is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council and
the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the
Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Allied Arts. The play is an Allied Arts City Card
event. The Opening Night Party Sponsors for PICNIC are Bob and Mona Cross and
the Cast Sponsors are Larry and Leah Westmoreland.