July 23, 2014  

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Southern Miss Theatre to present Picnic by William Inge

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The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Theatre continues its Spring 2014 season with Picnic by William Inge. All performances will take place in the Hartwig Theatre of the Theatre and Dance Building at Southern Miss. Performances are on March 28, 29 and April 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 p.m. and March 30 at 2 p.m.

General admission is $8. For tickets, call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 601.266.5418 or 800.844.8425 or visit www.southernmisstickets.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office of the Theatre and Dance Building prior to each performance.

Set in a small town in Kansas, Picnic details the lives of "ordinary" Americans from hopeful widows and embittered spinsters to idealistic teenagers and restless wanderers. Picnic picks up with the Owens family and their neighbors and an unlikely encounter with a mysterious and alluring stranger at the annual community picnic. A master at depicting families rooted in the American Heartland, Inge is often hailed as the voice of his generation and is particularly known as the “Playwright of the Midwest.”

Michelle Taylor, a second year masters of fine arts in directing candidate and director of Picnic, is thrilled to have the opportunity to direct the play that first sparked her interest in theatre. “This was the first play I ever saw and the first script I ever read,” Taylor said. “It made me want to go into theatre because I was enthralled by the poetic story that William Inge was able to tell.

“Picnic is a story with ordinary people in an ordinary town, but we watch something extraordinary happen to them. It made me fall in love with storytelling, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that,” she said. “The story focuses on love; familial love, friendship love, and romantic love. These themes are universal to audiences from 1952 to today’s audiences in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.”

For more information about the Department of Theatre, call 601.266.4994 or visit www.usm.edu/theatre.