March 30, 2018
Journey with the Athenian Players to rural Kansas in 1953, where a close-knit group of family, friends, and neighbors does their best to figure out the formula for a happy life. William Inge’s Picnic showcases the acting and creative skills of the talented troupe at the Alabama Center for the Arts, featuring students from Athens State University and the local community. The cast and crew work together to portray a story about an older generation trying to use their life experiences to guide the young adults they care about, hoping to help them find a balance between security and passion. But it’s up to the young adults themselves to decide if they’ll take that advice as they make the decisions that will shape their futures.
Picnic tells the story of a handsome stranger that ignites passions when he arrives in a small Kansas town, and everyone from youthful students to old spinsters are faced with regrets about decisions made and uncertainty about decisions yet to be made. Is the future they planned the future they really want… or need? Will the mistakes of the past repeat themselves? A love triangle, the specter of a life unfulfilled, and the need to explore new places in the world force each person in the tiny community to choose the path that allows them to be their truest self.
Directed by Dr. Hugh Long, the play will run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday April 12-21 at 7:30 pm, with a matinee performance on April 15 at 1:30 pm. The play runs approximately 2 hours, including two 10 minute intermissions. Tickets are on sale now.
Picnic’s talented cast includes Laura Poe as Flo Owens, Karessa Kelley as Madge Owens, Rabia Siddiqui as Millie Owens, Connor Hinkle as Hal Carter, Richard Bransford as Alan Seymour, Tracy Szappan as Helen Potts, Whitney Mullins as Rosemary Sydney, Bart Hamilton as Howard Bevans, Molly Blay as Irma Kronkite, Caitlyn Merriman as Christine Schoenwalder, and Chris Clark as Bomber. Behind the scenes, Trent Thompson was the master carpenter, costumes were designed by Dr. Kimberly Jack, Melissa Irvin was the graphic designer and lead set painter, Josh Davis is the lighting designer, Kenna Riddle is the sound designer, Tracy Szappan is the stage manager and Meghan Swan is the assistant stage manager.
Performances will take place in the Studio Theatre at the Alabama Center for the Arts, 133 2nd Avenue, Decatur. Regular admission tickets are $15.00, and senior or student admission tickets are $10.00. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Alabama Center for the Arts box office, online at https://www.athens.edu/athenianplayers/upcoming-productions/, or by phone at (256) 260-3007.
If you visit some of the cast and crew’s favorite local haunts, The Railyard, Whisk’d, and Moe’s Barbeque, during the week of the show, bring your receipt to the box office and receive $5.00 off the price of your ticket! The Railyard, located on 2nd Avenue only a few blocks south of the Studio Theater, features high-quality Southern food and local craft beers. Whisk’d serves a delicious brunch all morning in the Albany district, on the corner of Somerville and Grant. Moe’s is located right across the street from the ACA’s Studio Theatre, next to the Princess, and offers delicious southern barbecue. (One discount per person.)
The Athenian Players are the resident theatre company at Athens State University. They make their home in the new Studio Theatre in the Alabama Center for the Arts, a black box theater that features state of the art lights and sound. The Athenian Players produce a play each semester, drawing the cast and crew from the diverse and talented ASU student body, students at other nearby schools, and the local Alabama community. Their goal is to continue the long tradition of quality dramatic productions from Athens State University’s illustrious history and to be a beacon for future theatre artists in the greater North Alabama region. For more information, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/athenianplayers. For information about the Drama program at Athens State, visit www.athens.edu/drama.