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April 2009

Release Date: April 13, 2009ASU Logo

Arts at ASU to Present ‘Picnic’

Angelo State University’s Arts at ASU will present the award-winning play “Picnic” April 30-May 3 and May 7-9 in the ASU Modular Theatre, located inside the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive.

Show times are at 8 p.m. April 30-May 2 and May 7-9 with a matinee scheduled for 2 p.m. May 3.

Tickets are $8 for the public, $4 for non-ASU students and $3 for ASU students. The play will be free for Arts at ASU subscribers and ASU Activity Card holders. For tickets, call the box office at 942-2000 from 2-6 p.m. weekdays beginning Wednesday, April 22. Advance tickets are recommended and should be reserved no later than three days prior to the selected performance.

Misael Martinez, a 2005 graduate of ASU and a master’s student at the University of Texas-Pan American, will direct the ASU theater troupe in William Inge’s 1953 Pulitzer Prize and Critics Circle Award-winning three-act play.

Martinez earned some accolades of his own with his play “Con Mis Manos,” a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) regional contender in 2004. Since ASU performed the play at the festival, numerous other colleges and community theaters have produced it. “Picnic” is Martinez’ directorial debut.

The scene for “Picnic” is the shared backyards of two middle-aged widows on Labor Day weekend where the play’s characters are gathering for a communal meal. Flo Owns lives in one house with her two maturing daughters, Madge and Millie and a spinster school teacher. Helen Potts and her elderly mother share the other house. Their world is shaken by the arrival of a young man, Hal Carter, who brings a new element into the five women’s lives. Hal, whose self-esteem was diminished by uncaring parents, nevertheless exudes charisma and masculinity and the women begin to veer from their routine lives.

“Everyone gets change from his arrival,” Martinez said. “The story is about a new element being introduced combined with the daughters growing up. Every character in this play is unhappy with their stations in life except for Mrs. Potts.”

“Each person’s challenge and how they deal with it is presented to the audience,” he added. “For the great majority of the characters, there is a huge change in them during the play.”

Besides the interplay between the women and Hal, there are also moments in the play that involve siblings and friends working toward resolutions of problems and new paths to the future.

Martinez said the play is special because it is the first one he has directed.

“I’ve done work on plays,” Martinez said, “but this is my baby, my firstborn. I’m taking good care of her.”

Cast members and their characters include Leigha Murray as Helen Potts, William Barker plays Hal Carter, Meghan Blake portrays Millie Owens, David Pedersen plays Bomber, Norma Allie Perez is cast as Madge Owens, Molly Schwencke plays Flo Owens and Kenedi Doerfer portrays Rosemary Sydney.

Also cast are Zeth Collom as Alan Seymour, Sarah Stewart as Irma Kronkite, Amanda Sanders as Christine Schoenwalder and Casey Baccus as Howard Bevans.

Stage manager is Chrysti Friar, Suzanne Smith is assistant stage manager, Eldra Sanford is the University Theatre Costumer and Matt Smith is the technical director.

For more information about “Picnic,” call the ASU drama program at 942-2146.