An early version of Picnic. Written in late 1947 and first performed by the Galveston Little Theater on 27 April 1948, Front Porch represents Inge's most widely acclaimed play in its formative stages of devlopment. Inge's concept for Picnic, the play which won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for drama, unfolds in the present typescript. Although Inge stated, "Picnic grew out of some of the writing I was awkwardly doing before [Come back little] Sheba," Front Porch is far from an "awkward" attempt. Indeed, under the direction of the talented director, Christian Miller, Front Porch received glowing reviews after its premiere performance at the Galveston Little Theater.
The present typescript, executed by Inge himself and replete with numerous corrections, additions and deletions, focuses on the dreams, frustrated hopes, and ambitions of a group of young inhabitants of a small midwestern town near Kansas City. Each character's longing to live a sophisticated existence in the city and their idle chatter about everyone in town are gracefully deftly presented. Inge eventually streamlined this central theme for Picnic by reducing the number of central charaters to two and intensifying their frustrating dreams of glamorous lives.
Together with: typed letter signed ("Bill") in pencil, 1 page (11 x 8 1/2in.; 279 x 215mm), postmarked 23 March 1948, to Christian Miller, director of Front Porch, asking for a copy of the revised version of the play and pictures of the cast if he cannot make it to the premiere; Printed epemera pertaining to Front Porch including newspaper reviews, playbill clippings and a magazine clipping.
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