Blinn-Bryan Opens New Theatre Season With Thrilling Drama ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’

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The Blinn College Theatre Arts Program opens its 2017-18 Bryan Campus theatre season with Tom Wright’s chilling adaptation of Joan Lindsey’s classic Australian novel, “Picnic at Hanging Rock.”

The haunting drama will make its U.S. premiere on the Blinn-Bryan stage Oct. 19-22 in the Bryan Campus Student Center Room F-120 (map). The curtain will rise at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 19-21, and 2pm on Sunday, Oct. 22.

Performances are $5 for students and $10 for the general public. Seating is first-come, first-served. Tickets can be purchased at www.blinn.edu/vpa/bryan-schedule.html. For questions regarding ticket reservations, contact the Box Office at (979) 209-8100. Tickets also will be available at the door.

“‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ is one of Australia’s most lauded novels, and has been made into an opera, feature film, television series, and numerous plays around the world,” says Blinn-Bryan Theatre Director Greg Wise. “It has a stronghold on the Australian psyche, and we are thrilled to bring it to our community.”

Set in the early 1900s, the production opens with the inexplicable disappearance of three schoolgirls and their teacher at a local geological formation known as Hanging Rock. A fourth student, who was with the group at the time of their disappearance, returns in hysterics with no recollection of the incident.

Panic ensues as school officials and the local community struggle to solve a mystery that has kept audiences on the edge of their seats for decades.

“This play is beautifully written,” says theatre student Lizzy Lovejoy, who portrays multiple roles in the production. “The audience will be transported to another world with just the words of the actresses. It really will make you think long after the performance is over.”

“Picnic at Hanging Rock” marks the beginning of an outstanding Blinn-Bryan theatre season, which puts a spotlight on plays influenced from around the world. Thornton Wilder’s two one-act plays – “The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden” and “The Long Christmas Dinner” – run Nov. 30-Dec. 3. A political comedy, “The Accidental Death of an Anarchist,” by Dario Fo runs Feb. 15-18, followed by Joshua Harmon’s savage comedy, “Bad Jews,” presented in partnership with Texas A&M Hillel April 26-29.

“It is a very diverse season with a mysterious thriller, emotionally-charged nostalgic pieces, political satire, and humorous family drama,” says Wise.

Following each Friday performance, the audience is invited to stay for a brief “Friday Night Talkback” in which the director and actors return to the stage to discuss the production and answer questions from the audience.

Blinn’s Theatre Arts Program hosts a variety of performances each year on its Bryan and Brenham campuses, and offers a quality educational foundation through study, application and experience. The Theatre Arts Program is part of Blinn’s Division of Visual/Performing Arts & Kinesiology, which offers courses and hands-on learning opportunities in architecture, arts, communication studies, construction science, kinesiology, music, and theatre.

Blinn’s second Fall eight-week semester begins Wednesday, Oct. 18. To register, visit www.blinn.edu.