Put the winter blues behind you by welcoming spring with ‘Picnic’

By Molly Grosskreutz
A & E Editor
We may have just been pum¬meled—again—with snow, but winter’s on its way out, and spring will be here soon. What better way to harken spring’s arrival than with a picnic?
A small cast of Viterbo theatre stu¬dents are putting on a production of “Picnic” March 14-17.
“Picnic” is a play written by William Inge in 1953, is the story of a small Kansas town and how everything gets turned upside down when a stranger arrives one hot summer day. It describes the change in social standards that be¬gan in the ‘50s but really came into prevalence in the ‘60s.
Stage manager Lizzie Stauble is excited for the show because of the personal significance it has for her.
“To me, ‘Picnic’ is a special show because things in my own life are echoed in the characters’ lives. Certain behaviors and reactions hit very close to home for me. It is also special for me because it is the first show I’ve stage managed. I was an assistant stage manager for ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ and ‘Secret Garden,’ both of which were main stage musicals. ‘Picnic’ is a small straight play in the La Croix Black Box, so the scale is so different,” Stauble told Lumen.
Assistant stage manager Lexie Scott seconds Stauble’s opinion. “It may not have the same spectacle as other shows, but it’s just as power¬ful,” she said.
Brenna Gustafson, a sophomore theatre and arts administration double major from Houston, Minn., is the show’s costume designer. “I love the aesthetic of the 1950s,” Gustafson explained, “especially the small-town styles early in the decade.”
One of Gustafson’s favorite ele¬ments of the costumes she’s de¬signed is that the costumes convey the play’s themes of constraint versus liberation, and society’s ex¬pectations versus personal desire.
For junior Andy Krage, the co-lighting designer and sound designer, “Picnic” is an “interesting study of gender roles.”
All of those interviewed in preparation for this article said their primary challenge in get¬ting this production on its feet has been scheduling around the big¬ger productions of “Cinderella” and “A Chorus Line,” as well as spring break and summer audi¬tions. Despite all those scheduling headaches, the cast and crew are confident and excited to share their work.
Tickets are available both at the box office and the Fine Arts Center website.

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