Picnic

ISBN-10: 082220892X

ISBN-13: 9780822208921

Edition: N/A

Authors: William Inge

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Description:

THE STORY: The play takes place on Labor day Weekend in the joint backyards of two middle-aged widows. The one house belongs to Flo Owens, who lives there with her two maturing daughters, Madge and Millie, and a boarder who is a spinster school teacher. The other house belongs to Helen Potts, who lives with her elderly and invalid mother. Into this female atmosphere comes a young man named Hal Carter, whose animal vitality seriously upsets the entire group. Hal is a most interesting character, a child of parents who ignored him, self-conscious of his failings and his position behind the eight ball. Flo is sensitively wary of temptations for her daughters. Madge, bored with being only a beauty, sacrifices her chances for a wealthy marriage for the excitement Hal promises. Her sister, Millie, finds her balance for the first time through the stranger's brief attention. And the spinster is stirred to make an issue out of the dangling courtship that has brightened her life in a dreary, minor way.
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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1955
Binding: Hardcover
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.396
Language: English

Inge was born in Independence, Kansas, attended the University of Kansas and Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, and studied theater with Maude Adams at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. He taught drama for some years and then served as drama critic for the St. Louis Star Times before becoming a playwright. Come Back, Little Sheba (1950), his first success on Broadway, is about an aging couple, the wife clinging to the past, the husband an alcoholic. His next play was Picnic (1953, later revised as Summer Brave), about a virile young drifter and his effect on women in a small town. Bus Stop (1955) involves stranded people---each reveals his or her loneliness, and in the end an aspiring singer accepts the attention of a naive but rough cowboy. The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1958) portrays a frustrated family in which a stranger's suicide inspires a new understanding between the mother and father and more confidence on the part of the son and daughter. Inge was immensely popular in the 1950s. In most of his plays, the characters live a humdrum existence, usually in the Kansas-Oklahoma region of 50 years ago. Behind the naturalistic dialogue is an inner softness, and the main figures are prone to confession. His works have been called "psycho-dramas involving the solution of personal and social problems by introspection and togetherness" (Eric Mottram). Inge won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Picnic. The later part of Inge's career as a dramatist was not successful. He took his own life in 1973.

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