The scenic design journey began with the world William Inge, the playwright, describes as existing "on the porches and in the yards of two small houses that sit close together in a small Kansas town." These houses are small but tidy, humble and not pretentious. It is an extremely realistic representation of houses and yards. The idea of the women being trapped in this world manifested itself in the first design for this production. There is a desire to get away and find meaning in their lives. The houses and their relationship to each other needed to create the feeling that it takes a great deal of effort to escape. In a subsequent design meeting after a change in director, there was a detour from the anticipated course of the preliminary scenic design when the concept of expansive and "someone could be blown away at a moment's notice" surfaced. With these simple words, expansive and blown-away, an exciting and less traveled road unfolded in front of us. The rake that once represented being confined and trapped could be utilized to create a sense of openness. Did the ground sweep up into a never-ending sky? Could the sky extend under their feet?
With our seat belts securely fastened, we explored this new route to creating the world of William Inge's Picnic. The result is an airy representation of realistic porches and yards.