Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  Picnic at Writers Theatre


Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

When a charismatic young drifter arrives in a small Kansas town on the eve of a Labor Day picnic, the simmering repressions of its residents come rapidly to a boil. Frequently hilarious and profoundly moving, Inge’s masterpiece chronicles the hopes and despairs that lie between the realization of adulthood and the eternal optimism of youth.

Thru - Nov 30, 2008

Price: $50-$65

Stage: 325 Tudor Court

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 2hrs 30mins; two intermissions

Writers Theatre Seating Charts

Nearby Restaurants

  Picnic Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Unlike a lot of Chicago directors, who can be overly loyal to certain actors, Cromer simply casts skilled performers who are absolutely right for the parts. If you know this play already and have imagined its characters, I swear these actors will fill those shoes with uncanny precision."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...In his “Our Town,” Cromer enveloped the audience in the play’s environment, yet dispensed with scenery until a final, heart-popping moment. Here, in a stunning collaboration with the ever-brilliant set designer Jack Magaw, the sense of the audience as part of the fabric of the play is again essential. But the physical environment is marvelously realistic, with the audience seated right in the grassy yard separating the front porches of two modest clapboard houses, and with huge, leafy tree branches serving as a canopy."
Read Full Review

Hedy Weiss

The Wall Street Journal - Highly Recommended

"...Writers' Theatre, a remarkable little troupe based in suburban Chicago, has mounted a production of "Picnic" that blasts the bull's-eye out of the target. Directed by David Cromer, it is one of the best performances of anything -- and I mean anything, not just plays -- that I've seen in my life, and it also leaves no possible doubt that Inge was not a mere commercial craftsman but an indisputably major artist, one of this country's half-dozen greatest playwrights."

Terry Teachout

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Inge tells the story in three acts worth seeing for their exquisite structure alone. And if his formalism makes those acts predictable, his compassionate wit keeps them interesting. The same holds true for David Cromer's production, despite some questionable casting. Together, Jack Magaw's set and Keith Parham's lighting define poetic realism."

Tony Adler

EpochTimes - Highly Recommended

"...There are some very funny moments in this three act play, but also moments of thought where on can think about the reality of growing into adulthood from the protected life of youth and the realization that what we thought was real may be just hopes and dreams."

Al Bresloff

Copley News Service - Highly Recommended

"...Locally we have enjoyed recent revivals of Inge’s “Come Back, Little Sheba” (by the Shattered Globe Theatre) and “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” (by the American Theater Company). And the Shaw Festival in Canada staged a fine version of “Bus Stop” a couple of seasons ago. Now comes the Writers’ Theatre revival of Inge’s Pulitzer prizewinning 1953 drama “Picnic.” It’s a stunning achievement, thanks to a pinpoint cast led by David Cromer’s extraordinarily insightful directing."

Dan Zeff

Edge - Highly Recommended

" complaint is minor against the considerable charms of the production taken as a whole. This Picnic is really well done, definitely worth going on. You’ll find yourself coming back to snack on it well after you have left the theater."
Read Full Review

Jack Hafferkamp

Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...this is a powerfully thrilling creation. Following his triumphant Hypocrites’ production of Our Town with this dramatically delicious Picnic, director David Cromer might easily be considered the Norman Rockwell of classic American theater. Except for with Cromer’s portraits, we vividly see and feel the provincial American experience warts, flaws, misfortunes, heartbreaks and all. He creates something far more authentic with poignant depth, and therefore far more splendid."
Read Full Review

Venus Zarris

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Cromer and scenic designer Jack Magaw emphasize the physical and psychological claustrophobia of small-town life by staging the play in the round. When Flo Owens urges her weeping, lovelorn daughter to get up off the ground because the neighbors are watching from their porches, the two really are being watched from all sides. (Hanna Dworkin stands out as the busybody schoolmarm who masks her disappointment with judgment of others.)"
Read Full Review

Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Without giving away too much, let me say that the sexual tensions rise as Hal and Madge and Rosemary and Howard have a fine time at the Labor Day picnic. Lives are changed as personal discoveries are made that day. The need to escape and go for a better life emerge. “Picnic” is a timeless work. Cromer’s cast mostly carry the depth of subtly of the writing. I liked Hillary Clemens’ Millie, Hanna Dworkin’s Rosemary and Marc Grapey’s Howard."
Read Full Review

Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...There's a lot for a contemporary audience to swallow, but in recent years both Griffin Theatre and Oak Park's Festival Theatre have mined great beauty and creative success from the play. That the usually reliable and splendid Writers' Theatre achieves far less potent results here is something of a shocker, particularly with the acclaimed director David Cromer at the helm. Cromer's languid pacing is choppy and his casting likewise uninspired."

Joe Stead

  Picnic Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter