Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy birthday, William Inge

It is the birthday of writer William Inge (1913), whose drama Picnic (1953) won a Pulitzer Prize. The story is set on Labor Day in a small Midwestern town and concerns the loves and yearnings of several college-aged men and women. The characters were inspired by people who stayed at his mother's boarding house when he was a child. Despite its remarkable run on Broadway, its selection as best play by the New York Drama Critics Circle and its adaptation as a successful Hollywood movie, Inge never felt he fulfilled his original intentions with Picnic, so he reworked it. The result was Summer Brave, which was produced on Broadway in 1975, after his death. Inge also won an Oscar for his screenplay, Splendor in the Grass (1961). Among his best known plays are Come Back, Little Sheba (1950), Bus Stop (1955), and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957). Inge wrote two novels, Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1970) and My Son is a Splendid Driver (1971).    

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