It’s springtime, so a “Picnic” is in order. That’s the title of the next production at the Pewter Plough Playhouse, where William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama opens this weekend.
Tickets to preview night performance, Friday, May 15, are $17, and “Picnic” opens its official engagement the following evening with a gala champagne opening. Both of those performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“Picnic” is the story of a Kansas family, their neighbor and their boarder, whose lives are changed when a young drifter comes to town looking for work. He forms a connection with the family’s two teenage daughters and — despite their mother’s misgivings — is invited to the town picnic.
The play examines the nature of beauty: Madge is considered a natural beauty, but she’s concerned that others only value her for her looks — which are the envy of younger sister Millie and their roommate, a schoolteacher named Rosemary. Madge’s mother, Flo, plays on her own beauty to woo the richest guy in town, Alan.
The drifter, Hal, is good looking, as well, but he seems to see more in Madge than her looks.
William Inge, one of the foremost playwrights of the 20th century, produced plays including “Bus Stop,” “Come Back Little Sheba,” “Splendor in the Grass” and “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.” His plays are known for finding humor and tension in the lives of ordinary people.
Anita Schwaber is making her 10th appearance in the director’s chair, following up previous credits that include “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Outward Bound,” “Becky’s New Car,” “Jake’s Women” and “Same Time Next Year.”
The cast includes Plough veterans Christina Fountain, Sharyn Young, Toni Young and Janice Peters. Fellow cast members Jon Weise and Joyce Calderon have appeared on stage at the Plough before, while Ali Burkhead and Randall Lyons have done readings. Will Vowels will be making his Pewter Plough debut.
If you go
- What: “Picnic”
- When: 7:30 p.m. May 15 (preview night) and May 16 (gala champagne opening); then 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through June 14.
- Where: Pewter Plough, 824 Main St.
- Tickets: $22 general admission; $17 students with ID; $30 opening night; $17 preview night.
- Information: 927-3877 or www.pewterploughplayhouse.org.