Linfield theatre department concludes season with ‘Picnic’

Linfield TheatreThe Linfield College theatre program concludes its 2015-16 season in the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall with “Picnic” by William Inge and under the guest direction of Ellyn Gersh Lerner.

Performance dates are May 5-7 and 12-14 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8.

“Picnic” offers a portrait of life in a small Kansas town in the 1950s — a town of tranquility and monotony, where neighbors wave from their porches and life can be stifling. As everyone eagerly awaits the annual Labor Day picnic, the arrival of a stranger turns life upside down.

Winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, the original Broadway production was directed by Joshua Logan, who received the Tony Award for Best Director, and marked Paul Newman’s Broadway debut.

Lerner, who has a Ph.D. in theatre arts, has more than 25 years experience in teaching and directing. She has directed more than 30 plays in a variety of theatres from schools to churches to off-Broadway. She has also participated in the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in teacher-training programs and professional conferences as a guest speaker and panelist. She last directed at Linfield for the May 2009 production of Lanford Wilson’s “Book of Days.”

“I was delighted to be invited back to Linfield because my experience here couldn’t have been more gratifying,” said Lerner. “As an undergraduate at Occidental College, a small liberal arts college in Los Angeles, we had a small student body and a gorgeous campus like Linfield. Here, I feel very comfortable because my own philosophy and approach to play production align with that of the Linfield faculty and staff.”

Cast members include seniors Daniel Bradley of Terrebonne who will play Hal Carter; Emily Griffin of Anguin, Calif., who will play Flo Owens; Travis McKenna of Elko, Nev., who will play Bomber; and Brianna Norris of Milwaukie who will play Rosemary; juniors Naomi Boydston of Friday Harbor, Wash., who will play Millie Owens; and Joella Cordell of Caldwell, Idaho, who will play Helen Potts; sophomores Sierra-Karen Denend of Yakima, Wash., who will play Irma Kronkite; Marcos Galvez of Hood River who will play Howard Bevans; Raisa Mlynski of Forrest Grove who will play Christine; and Cassandra Martinez of Woodburn who will play Helen’s mother’s voice; freshmen Zachary Brehmeyer of Rancho Cucamongo, Calif., who will play Beano; Analesa Fisher of Lake Oswego who will play Madge Owens; Antoine Johnson of Hoquiam, Wash., who will play the voice of boys; and Glenn B. Rust of Eugene who will play Alan Seymour.

Taylor Pitner of Kailua, Hawaii, is the stage manager. Scenic and lighting design is by Ty Marshall, sound design by Rob Vaughn ’97 and Alyssa Coleman ’16 and costume design by Laurel Peterson ’07.

Tickets are $9 for full price; $7 for seniors (62+) and Linfield faculty and staff; and $5 for students (any age, any school); with a $2 discount on all tickets on opening night. Tickets for moms (any age) for the Sunday matinee are $5. Seating is reserved. Tickets are available now at linfield.edu/arts and at the Marshall Theatre Box Office beginning Tuesday, April 26.

This play contains adult themes and is not suitable for all audiences. The production is produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

For more information call 503-883-2292.