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April 16, 2013

'Picnic' play coming to ECU

Ada — Picnic, a play which won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will be performed by students from the East Central University School of Fine Arts on April 18-20 at the Chalmers Herman Theatre inside Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.

 Picnic is one of William Inge’s most popular works, along with Bus Stop and Splendor in the Grass.

The setting for Picnic is in a small Kansas town not too far from the Oklahoma border. It's Labor Day weekend and members of the audience visit the backyards of two middle-aged widows, Flo Owens and Helen Potts. Flo has two daughters, 16-year-old Millie and 19-year-old Madge, who is dating the son of a wealthy and influential local businessman.

Flo also rents a room to schoolteacher Rosemary Sidney. Helen Potts takes care of her elderly, invalid mother and occasionally hires vagabonds to work in exchange for food. Along comes Hal Carter whose personality and animal vitality upsets everyone. A former athlete, Hal poses a temptation to the women, especially the young daughters, Madge and Millie.

The realistic romantic drama/comedy is full of laughter and pathos.

The cast includes Amanda Hughes as Flo Owens; Micah Worcester as the energetic and intelligent Millie; Rachel Hayes as the bored beauty Madge; Angelina Tinker as Mrs. Potts; Mason Gibson as Rosemary Sidney; Wyatt Freeman as her friend Howard Bevans who runs a notions and novelty shop in nearby Cherryvale; Domineque Carey as the vagabond Hal Carter; Ben Eckart as rich kid Alan Seymour; Cheyney Jo Taylor and Haley Cantrell as Rosemary’s friends and fellow schoolteachers; and Cristian Nazario-Cruz as Boomer, the local newspaper boy.

For non-season pass holders, tickets are $10 for the general public and $9 for senior citizens and children of any age. Admission is free for ECU students, faculty and staff. Seating is limited, but reservations are available by calling 580-559-5751 or visiting the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center Box Office Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets still available will be sold the nights of the shows, starting at 6:45 p.m.

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