As part of their American Classic Series, the Grand Theatre is currently producing “Picnic,” the 1953 Tony Award-winning play by William Inge.
The time period when “Picnic” takes place is a key component to elevating the drama, something that “Picnic” director Alexandra Harbold believes will captivate the audience.
“The play takes place over an incredibly condensed period of time, from early morning Labor Day, 1952, to the next early morning,” Harbold explains. “Because of that compression of time, there is a sense of vitality and urgency that is contagious. I fall in love with all of the characters more and more with each rehearsal.”
Seth Miller, artistic director for the Grand Theatre, selects the plays for the season and hires the crews. Miller eagerly brought in Harbold to direct the play, calling her a “fantastic director.”
Miller explains that the March slot is always reserved for an American Classic Series. Previous plays for the series include “Death of a Salesman” and “The Glass Menagerie.”
“To be in the American Classic Series it must be a straight play [not a musical], by an American playwright, and considered a classic,” he says.
Miller considers “Picnic” to be a particularly important play.
“It’s a charming story with a lot of underlining themes and it hasn’t been done recently in the Salt Lake Valley,” he says.
SLCC students get one free ticket and up to four half-priced tickets to every Grand Theatre show. All SLCC staff get half off all ticket purchases.
Miller is confident in this play and hopes SLCC students will choose to attend.
“I wish that the student population would take more advantage of us here,” he says. “When I was a student I didn’t have any money, so a free show would have been great.”
“Picnic” will be performed Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through April 2. Matinees begin at 2 p.m. Saturdays and evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets range from $18 to $26.