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Akeila LeClaire of Downers Grove plays Madge, and Alex Koelsch of Wheaton portrays Hal in the Grove Players production of "Picnic." (Photo provided by Steven Merkel, Merkel Photography)

Grove Players starts off its 78th season with William Inge’s "Picnic," a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about love and longing. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 to 24, in Downers Grove.

Set in 1953, the play examines the arrival of a handsome drifter who upsets the equilibrium of a small Kansas town on a steamy Labor Day weekend. Alex Koelsch of Wheaton has the role of the drifter, Hal. Alissa Leone of Villa Park portrays Millie Owens, and Akeila LeClaire of Downers Grove her sister, Madge.

Susan O’Byrne of Hinsdale plays their mother, Flo, who suspects Hal might spell trouble for her girls. The production marks the 100th birthday of the late playwright.

It will be presented in Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave. Tickets cost $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $11 for students. Reservations are available at or 630-415-3682.