Written by William Inge
Directed by Will Davis
Molly Brennan, Robert Cornelius, Alexia Jasmene, Patricia Kane, Laura McKenzie, Jose Nateras, Michael Turrentine, Malic White, Mara Dale, Dwayne Everett, Ali Goodman
First Performance March 17, 2017
Opening March 22, 2017
Final Performance April 23, 2017
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Closeted and dogged by an acute sense of failure for most of his life until he ended it, William Inge wrote some of the great lyrical plays of the American mid-century, and Picnic was his masterpiece, his playground, and, quite possibly, his fantasy.
In this loving reimagining, Artistic Director Will Davis puts Inge at the center of his play and animates what is both sacred and profane about small town life against the backdrop of dust bowl hymns and love songs.
Part seance, part love letter to a ghost, this ‘Picnic’ explores a life lived at the periphery of one’s own desire.
Chris Jones – Chicago Tribune
The quality of the scene work, and the melding of the actors’ own performative personas (such as that of Michael Turrentine, who plays Rosemary) with the Inge characters, are the strengths of the show. The overall arc of the play here is less secure — with the ending feeling especially abrupt.
Kevin Greene – New City Stage
What is perhaps most refreshing about this “Picnic” is that nowhere does it insist on the veneer of contemporary relevance that so many other revivals burden themselves with. In his preshow speech, Davis spoke earnestly about living with this play and communing with Inge’s spirit for seven years before producing it. The end result is inspired: the kind of theater that speaks to the possibilities of the medium, exciting the mind and senses.