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Picnic Paperback – January, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0822208921 ISBN-10: 082220892X Edition: First Edition

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Picnic + You Can't Take It with You: A Comedy in Three Acts + The Importance of Being Earnest
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.; First Edition edition (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082220892X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822208921
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. C. Kite on September 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
this play is just amazing. its a beautifully written simple love story. But the characters are extremely captivating. I reccomend reading this or seeing it if you can. Its great. Dont be fooled by how simple it is though. its deceptively so
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Will o' the Wisp on May 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Picnic" is perhaps William Inge's most acclaimed play and with good reason. Inge was known as "The Playwright of the Midwest" and his works reflect his powerful understanding of the mores, attitudes and lifestyle of Midwesterners, a decidedly different place than the West, South or East Coast. Inge's female characters are particularly well-written and he has a wonderful understanding of the inner conflicts that women deal with. His understanding of the Midwest and of women is never more powerful than in "Picnic". It is an American classic and it, along with "Bus Stop," put Inge into the front rank of great American playwrights.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James J. Bloom on April 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My first experience with Picnic was probably most typical ---I saw the 1955 film with the iconic Kim Novack, making her big screen debut. I didn't see the actual play as intended by Inge until the TV production circa 1990s (forget the exact date) with Jennifer Jason Leigh in the Novack role. Now that I've read the play as written, I have a few observations to add to the several reviews here. The first thing I noticed was that the entire action of the play takes place on the single set representing the front yard and 2/3 view of the Owens home, the intervening yard and back alley way, and the next door backyard and rear 2/3 view of Mrs. Potts' home with the backdrop of the town and various municipal and farm structures. The film provided the decisive crises at the picnic site itself, rather more like a county fair with several hundreds attending than the smaller scale event (perhaps 50-100 attending) portrayed indirectly in the play. The way the picnic event was brought to life offstage is a credit to Inge's creative imagination. Most likely even the theater technology of the early 50's might have permitted some scene changes to represent the main event itself, but I believe that Inge wanted playgoers to concentrate on the homes of the five main female protagonists and how confining they were to their shattered hopes and dreams.

Inge has a knack for portraying Midwestern town life, more specifically that of President "Ike"'s America at mid-20th century. I try to see that movie again purely as a look back at a simpler, even it more repressed, America. As such, the ambiance is now a bit outdated, but the internal struggles of the women of that day may not be as strange to sensibilities of six decades hence as one of the reviewers has noted here.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this specifically for Picnic, which I quickly discovered differs widely from the published acting edition from Dramatists Play Service. Specifically, the Madge-Hal scene near the top of Act III is completely different in structure and tone. Those differences continue to color the rest of the play. Perhaps this is actually the screenplay, but that's not how it's billed here, and it's certainly been prepared for publishing in play format. I checked the print edition of this collection, and it sports the same differences.

For reading, it's barely acceptable, but if you are a theatre artist adding this to your collection, be warned that this text is not reflective of what you might bring to the stage.

I haven't done a full comparison of the other three plays, so good luck with them.
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By Nichole Strong on December 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was in very good condition and the storyline was fabulous. I am a new fan of William Inge
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
William Inge has a gift for dramatizing the everyday situations of American life alongside the deeper questions of life. Who am I? Am I my past actions or the labels people give me? Is a different future possible? Reading the plays gives you a chance to appreciate Inge's thoughtful word choice and character development. This collection would be worth the price for Picnic and Bus Stop alone. The digital version was a pleasure to read.
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By wonderiss on January 22, 2013
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Great play with a lovely story. This play is inspiring and playful. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys theatre.
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By dante on August 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To help a future actress
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