Watching the Castleton Theatre Arts Department deliver William Inge’s “Picnic,” was a pleasure for anyone in attendance on Sept. 30 opening night. Despite the rowdy and somewhat rude crowd present at the Thursday night performance, the cast and crew of this year’s fall production did a phenomenal job in presenting a candid portrayal of a small Kansas town’s Labor Day affairs.
Anyone who watched Austyn Bevins was blown away by his performance. A seemingly shy guy to most on campus, Bevins transformed himself into a brawling, boisterous, rowdy drinker with a pension for pretty ladies in a sincere and hilarious portrayal of Hal Carter.
Bevins wasn’t the only stand out actor in this latest CSC production. The leading ladies played by Kathleen Eichler, Julie Banach, Candis Machia, Chelsea Smith and Julianne O’Connor were all knockouts.
These young women all stood out as actresses with the ability to not only perform sincerely, but to add (or subtract in the case of Banach) age to their characters. I was especially impressed by the work done by O’Connor. She was hilarious, emotional, and brought great feeling to her “spinster” character.
I also thought the work or Banach was notable, at very least. She brought the youth of her character to life. I found her presence on stage comfortable and enthusiastic.
Alan Seymour, played by Andrew Donovan, was also a real treat to watch. In the emotional ending when he discovers the betrayal of his long time friend, it is not only easy to believe his character, but one feels compelled to.
I was sincerely impressed and a bit teary eyed when it when it came to the final scene of this play.
Smith, Machia and Bevins all stood out as capable and touching actors.