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PICNIC Will Come to Cal State Fullerton


PICNIC Will Come to Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton's production of "Picnic" by William Inge and directed by Eve Himmelheber runs from November 15 - December 8, 2019 in the Young Theatre on campus. A small Kansas town in the 1950s is the setting for this bittersweet melodrama. On a sweltering Labor Day morning, the women of a quiet, working-class neighborhood are preparing for the annual picnic when charming young drifter Hal Carter hops off of a freight train and into their lives. Hearts are broken and lives are changed, as Hal's dangerous energy challenges the restrictive mid twentieth-century American values of this sleepy community.

Born in Kansas in 1913, playwright William Inge has been called "the grain belt Tennessee Williams," and is frequently upheld as one of the three most important playwrights in the American theater of the 1950s, along with Arthur Miller and Williams, whom he became acquainted with when he worked as the drama and music critic for the St. Louis Times. Inge is best known for his plays "Come Back, Little Sheba" and "Bus Stop" in addition to "Picnic," for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, Outer Circle Award, and Theatre Club Award. Many of Inge's screenplays were later adapted into films, including his first screenplay, "Splendor in the Grass," (1961) was made into a film starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty and also featured a cameo by Inge himself (as Reverend Whitman). "Splendor in the Grass" was a triumph for Inge, and won him an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.

Director and CSUF alum (MFA acting, '95) Eve Himmelheber is a performer, director, choreographer, and voice/dialect coach who has worked professionally in diverse musical and theatrical settings, including the Kennedy Center, the Greek Theatre, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Renée & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. She has appeared on stage with such artists as Patrick Stewart, Kristin Chenoweth, John Lithgow, Jeremy Irons, Patti LuPone, Judy Collins, Davis Gaines, and Marvin Hamlisch. Professor Himmelheber recently co-authored an article published in the International Journal of Latest Trends in Engineering and Technology (2018), and has been awarded the "Gold Medallion," an "Excellence in Education" award in addition to "critics pick" awards from both the Los Angeles Times (best dramatic performance) and the OC Weekly (best comedic performance). She is also a regional Fellow of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

The cast of "Picnic" includes Beylul Ephrem, Bernard Hefner, Kathleen Chavez, Seth Weaver, Abigail Heilman, Olivia Kim Kridle, Jessica Schreiber, Donovan Jett Rodgers, Kyra Pelham, Michelle Bachman, Dustin Rayvon Frye, and Rachel Fosnaugh (voice over actor). Scenic design is by Kylie Baumbusch, costume design by Carina Holley, lighting design by Clay Fournival, makeup & hair design by Lauren Wiedman, and sound design by Michelle Tharp.

"Picnic" plays at 8 pm on November 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, December 5, 6, 7 and at 2 pm on November 17, 23, 24, December 7, 8. General admission tickets are $14 ($12 with advance Titan Discount purchase for students, seniors or with a CSUF ID) and 1 Flex. All tickets are $14 at the door. Tickets are available by calling (657) 278-3371, 11 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday or online.

Following "Picnic," join us for "Fall Dance Theatre" as choreographers and dancers illuminate our dreams, desires, loves, and losses through movement. Experience the stirring complexity of dance as it captures humanity's fleeting moments and brings joy through the unleashing of emotions. "Fall Dance Theatre" is coordinated by Lisa D. Long and runs December 5 - 15 in the Little Theatre on campus.

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