SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Students in Wittenberg University's Department of Theatre and Dance will present Picnic by award-winning playwright William Inge in Chakeres Memorial Theatre on campus. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 14-16, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17.
Set in a small Kansas town in the early 1950s, Picnic is the tale of a stranger who comes to town and unwittingly becomes a catalyst for change. The drama opens when Hal Carter, a drifter with a past, takes a room at a boarding house in exchange for doing odd jobs. A handsome fellow who is fully aware of his effect on women, Hal incites lust in all the town’s women, both young and old.
Some of these women include single mother Flo Owens, Madge, her beautiful older daughter, and the independent younger daughter, Millie. The teenage girls both yearn for more than a life of staid domesticity, and the play explores their feelings about what the future holds for them.
Picnic opened at The Music Box Theatre in New York City in 1953, won every major theatrical award and ran on Broadway for 61 weeks. In 1954, Columbia Pictures released the film version, which starred William Holden, Kim Novak and Rosalind Russell.
Guest Director David Chrzanowski will guide the student actors through their paces. After earning his M.F.A. from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Chrzanowski has directed at his alma mater as well as the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and the Boulevard Ensemble Theatre in Milwaukee, Wis.
Cast members include, Kat Kalinoski of Granville, Ohio, A.J. Kessler of Carey, Ohio, and Kaleigh Lockhart of Florence, S.C., all members of the class of 2008; Meghan Eileen O’Brien of Fitchburg, Mass., Katy Nichols of Toledo, Ohio, and Nicole Smith of Fort Worth, Texas, all members of the class of 2007; Shannon Anderson of Winter Haven, Fla., David Herzog of Springfield, Ohio, J. Judson Lohman of Saint Paul, Minn., and Matt Skinner of Springfield, Ohio; all members of the class of 2006, and Miriam C. Ryman of Graham, N.C., class of 2005.
Tickets are $4 and may be purchased in advance at the Benham-Pence Student Center Service Center, (937) 327-7443, or at the theatre at 905 Woodlawn Ave. one hour in advance of each performance.
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