|ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: “Picnic” connects to college audience with relatable message|
|Written by Carly Stinson, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:23|
The School of Theatre will present the Pulitzer Prize winning play “Picnic” by William Inge this upcoming week, starting March 29 through April 7.
Performances will take place on campus at Centennial West 207 Studio Theatre. Centennial West is a small theatre, with only 60 seats. Director and School of Theatre professor Lori Adams suggests getting tickets early because they will fly off the shelves with the small amount of seating available.
The play takes place in a small town in Kansas in the 1950s on Labor Day. Adams explained that all the action happens two neighbors’ backyards. There’s a family in one house, and an older woman living with her mother in another. It’s a typical day until a man named Hal Carter arrives in town to visit a friend from college.
“The play is about what ensues with his arrival along with the very interesting characters. The play is mostly women, and in the midst a man comes along that stirs things up. All their hopes and dreams come to surface in the play,” Adams said.
According to Eliza Morris, acting major and main character Madge Owens, “the tranquility and amiable boredom of their lives is disrupted by the arrival of Hal, a handsome stranger. The play then revolves around the different characters and the struggles and questions Hal makes them realize about their own life choices.”
Even though the play is presented in a small theatre, Adams explained that it provides an opportunity for a unique experience because it’s “up close and personal, so its something where you will be 3 or 4 feet away from the actors, which is exciting.” Adams said that they have had people attend the rehearsals, and they are consistently enjoying the play.
“My favorite part about acting in this show is definitely discovering the relationships between my character, Madge, and everyone else in the show. There is not one character in this play that is not affected by every other character. It’s a seemingly simple play, but we [the cast and director] continually uncover a complexity about their lives. Every character is desperately pining, almost aching for something else or someone else,” said Morris.
Attending this play is an opportunity students should not miss. Not only is it award winning, but also a story that students can relate to. Adams explained that while the story is relatable for all ages, college students will definitely find several characters similar to themselves.
“Although it is set in a time over 60 years ago, it’s wildly relevant still today. Almost every character comes to “a fork in the road,” at which they must make difficult, life-altering decisions about what kind of person they want to be in the world. What college student can’t relate to that?” Morris added.
Tickets are available for purchase in the Center for Performing Arts lobby from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Friday.