At the start of the rehearsal process all those involved in the production were given a resource guide that provided information on PICNIC, including biographical information on the playwright, William Inge. There has been much written about the life of Inge, and he spent a great deal of time in his life talking not only about his work, but his ambitions as a playwright. The following are some quotes that I have found very pertinent to finding the deeper meanings of PICNIC and to provide understanding of the nature of its complex playwright.
"I wanted to write a play that took place in the sunshine"
"When I was a boy in Kansas, my mother had a boarding house. There were three women school teachers living in the house, and they were nice to me. I liked them. I saw their attempts, and even as a child, I sensed the sorrow and the emptiness in their lives, and it touched me"
"What I have wanted most to do is to present the lives in PICNIC with all the warmth and humor and fondness and dismay that attended me when I recalled them. In such tranquil lives, I have found the 'mysterious quiet' that precedes a Kansas cyclone"
"My path in the Theater is to find all that I can in the human lives that I know and are available to me- and find the meanings in those lives secondarily, rather than take a theme and work in the characters secondarily."
"I hate a play that tells me what to think. I have to leave my characters for the audience to make their own judgements of."
"All my plays represent something of me, some view of life that is pecularily mine that no one else could offer in quite the same style and form. Success, it seems to me, would be somewhat meaningless if the play were not a personal contribution."
"I regard a play as a composition reather than a story, as a distillation of life rather than a narration of it."
"I compare a play to a journey, in which every moment should be as interesting as the destination. I despair of a play that requires its audience to sit through two hours of plot construction having no reference outside the immediate setting, just to be rewarded by a big emotional pay-off in the last act."