By Laura Annawyn Shamas. Based on the book by Joan Lindsay.
Cast: 8m., 18w. For a group of Australian schoolgirls, a romantic Valentine's Day outing ends in an intriguing mystery. What has happened to the three seniors and the mathematics teacher on top of the jagged peaks of Hanging Rock? Based on the Joan Lindsay runaway bestseller Picnic at Hanging Rock—also the source of the acclaimed Peter Weir film—this exciting new play explores a baffling disappearance which takes its toll on a small community in the Australian countryside. Who in the large cast of fascinating characters is responsible for the crime? Is it Mrs. Appleyard, the matron and headmistress of the college who nips brandy on the sly? Does the young, beautiful French teacher Mademoiselle De Poitiers know more than she will say to the police? And what about the two young men who watch the girls climb the mountain? Why do they return to the rock after the police investigation? Or maybe one of the eight remaining schoolgirls conspired against the others … A delicate look at crisis, greed and honesty at the turn of the century, Picnic at Hanging Rock invites its viewers to examine the people of Woodend and the consequences of their actions. Hauntingly and ironically, the play shows that what seems pristine and proper on the outside may not be free of moral corruption on the inside. The final climactic twist is shocking and bittersweet, with an impact that is unforgettable. Area staging.