Summer drama steams up Lyric Arts Main Street Stage this month

Lyric Arts invites guests to a steamy summer day in the middle of winter this January with “Picnic.”

ArtsPicnicFlo Owens is the mother of two blossoming young women. Her oldest daughter, Madge, is a stunning beauty engaged to a wealthy man, who is worried that her looks are all people see. Millie, Madge’s younger sister, is an incredibly creative, artistic woman worried that her looks are something that no one seems to see.

On Labor Day weekend, a handsome drifter with a troubled past wanders into a small Kansas town. His unexpected presence and animal vitality stir up some long buried emotions among the women of this once peaceful community.

And that starts a chain reaction that causes Madge to consider gambling her potential marriage for a chance at true love with a rebellious and sensitive stranger.

“Lyric has been taking on some really important classic American pieces of theater,” says director Scott Ford, referring to works such as 2010’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and last year’s critically acclaimed production of “Death of a Salesman.”

“In this upcoming season, ‘Picnic’ is the show that is cut from the same cloth,” Ford said.

As one of Lyric Arts’ two resident directors, Ford previously directed “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and last season’s smash-hit musical “Hairspray,” both of which garnered critical acclaim.

“‘Picnic’ speaks to what every young adult goes through as they are forging their identities,” said Ford. “It’s about how they figure out who they want to be, and how they want people to see them, and I really think that there is a ring of truth in it.”

Theater enthusiasts are also welcome to join in a talk-back question-answer session with the “Picnic” cast and crew on Jan. 19.  To reserve a place, contact Cassandra Proball at 763-233-0804 or email her at cassandra@lyricarts.org.

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