Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts will present “Picnic” from Feb. 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. There also will be two matinee performances on Feb. 20 and 21 at 2 p.m.
William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Picnic” is set in an idyllic small town in Kansas with two houses, one backyard and change in the air. The play was first performed on Broadway in 1953 and was adapted into a motion picture in 1955.
The story opens with Mrs. Flo Owens concerned that her beautiful daughter Madge needs to move quickly to secure a life of stability that she was never able to have herself. Flo believes beauty fades quickly and sees little other opportunity for Madge who frequently dreams of something bigger than their small town can provide. A young drifter, Hal, arrives in town hoping to connect with his old college buddy Alan. Hal hopes that the privileged Alan can help him find a job. Alan happens to be the steady boyfriend of Madge and the man that Flo hopes will bring a life of stability for her daughter. All seems fine for the young couple and, for a short time, it seems that Hal may be attempting to settle into his own conventional life. Very quickly, a series of events unfold that challenge not only Hal’s ability to find stability, but that also push Madge to question her choices. Inge’s characters must determine how they will allow tradition, caution, the expectations of society and the fear of the unknown affect the rest of their lives.
The play is directed by Brian Sage, assistant professor of theatre for the theatre arts department at Ohio Northern University. He’s worked as both an actor and director for a variety of companies throughout Michigan and Illinois, including Tipping Point Theatre, Performance Network Theatre, The Jewish Ensemble Theatre, The Encore Musical Theatre, The Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire, First Folio Shakespeare, Theatre Building Chicago and Tibbits Opera House. He will return to Tipping Point Theatre in summer 2016 to play Zed in Lisa Dillman’s “American Wee-Pie.”
The cast includes Anne Cape (Rosemary Snyder), a senior musical theatre major and arts administration minor from Naples, Fla.; Benjamin Frankart (Alan Seymour), a sophomore musical theatre major from Republic, Ohio; Christopher Hartman (Howard Bevans), a freshman musical theatre major from Mount Vernon, Ohio; Hallie Heffernan (Madge Owens), a freshman musical theatre major from Copley, Ohio; Logan Hill (Millie Owens), a freshman musical theatre major from Ridgeway, Ohio; Alexa Lammers, (Christine Schoenwalder), a senior musical theatre and public relations double major from Tipp City, Ohio; Annie Liskow (Flo Owens), a sophomore musical theatre major from Dallas, Texas; Sara Ohm (Helen Potts), a senior theatre and language arts education double major from New Albany, Ohio; Emily Schmid (Irma Kronkite), a sophomore musical theatre major from Raleigh, N.C.; Eli Underwood (Hal Carter), a sophomore communication and theatre double major from Urbana, Ohio; and Kyle Wilkerson (Bomber), a sophomore musical theatre major from Alpharetta, Ga.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. Tickets are $10 for ONU faculty and staff and $5 for ONU students and children. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at http://www.onu.edu/freed