Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Theatre Arts


Not specified


In his play Picnic, William Inge has created a study in male and female roles--or rather, the roles and types which society forces on them, and which they more frequently force on themselves. The people in this play are not conscious of their roles as roles. There is no free spirit portrayed in the attempt to throw off his or her classification. Even Madge, with her dreams of escape from the confines of small-town life, is acting in accordance with the behavior patterns of her particular genus. This play does not attack the male and female character typing which it portrays, but merely examines it through several personal interactions. As must be expected when seeking to deal with characters as types, Inge at times comes close to stereotyping his people.