Picnic by William Inge
It is Labor Day, and everyone is preparing for a neighborhood picnic. Hal Carter, a drifter, arrives in town looking for work and visits his college friend Alan, who is dating Madge Owens with the intent to marry her. Hal does odd jobs for the welcoming Helen Potts. Her neighbor, Flo Owens, distrusts Hal, especially around her daughters, Madge and Millie. Since shy Millie does not have a date, neighbor Mrs. Potts suggests that Hal accompany her, much to the chagrin of Flo. Hal agrees, but he is much more interested in Madge. There is an undeniable attraction between the two, as much as they try to fight it. While getting ready for the picnic, the family and friends dance in Flo's backyard to music playing nearby. Hal grows on both Millie and Madge, and they both vie for his attention. Rosemary, an "old maid schoolteacher" who boards at the Owens house, notices, disapproves, and is attracted to the shirtless Hal as she waits for her Labor Day date, local shop proprietor Howard Bevans. As Madge and Hal dance passionately, and a drunken Rosemary later butts in so she can dance with Hal (and proceeds to rip his shirt when Howard pries her away from Hal), Millie gets sick from drinking too much whiskey while no one is paying attention. Rosemary blames Millie's drinking on her date with Hal, and says he'll never rise beyond the gutter, and Flo joins in criticizing him.
Hal sits in the shadows by himself while everyone leaves for the picnic. Rosemary and her boyfriend Howard decide to skip the picnic and go for a drive. Madge stays behind to change her dress. When she comes back outside and tries to console Hal, they kiss after a deep and revealing conversation. They run off together and spend the night in the car.
Howard brings Rosemary back to the house. As he leaves, Rosemary begs him to marry her. When Madge and Hal return, Madge is ashamed of what they did. Hal asks for one more kiss, and their passion is revived.
In the morning, Flo is frantic because she has seen Madge crying hysterically. Rosemary leaves with Howard to get married, and everyone goes to the street to see her off. When Madge is left alone in the backyard, Hal shows up to talk to her. He has spent the night in hiding after Alan falsely reported to the police that Hal stole his car, in order to drive him out of town for "stealing" Madge. The others come back into the yard, and Hal leaves after defending himself when Alan arrives to drive him away, but only after telling Madge that he loves her and asks her to leave with him, despite Flo's presence and disapproval. Madge finally realizes that she loves him after he's gone, and she enters the house crying. Alan leaves, and it is obviously over between him and Madge. A little while later, Madge comes out of the house with a suitcase and tells her mother that she's going after Hal. The play ends with Flo watching her daughter leave.
The Veteran's Memorial Building (View)
210 Halstead Avenue
Harrison, NY 10528
|Minimum Age: 6|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|