The Belfast Maskers will open their 2010 summer season on their brand-new Festival Stage in Steamboat Landing Park with a preview of “Picnic” Thursday, July 1 at 7 p.m. The local production of William Inge’s “Picnic” will open the following night for a two-weekend run of outdoor performances.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning American masterpiece circles around an annual Labor Day picnic in a small Kansas town. The arrival of a drifter provokes an array of emotions and situations.

The Maskers cast features Elise Morrow-Schap, Clare Olson, Reid W. Connell, Nicholas Abounadar, Robin Jones, Chris Goosman, Sonia Vazquez, Jennifer Lowe, Danielle Bannister, Kelly Hewins and Zach Hewins. The show is directed by Matthew Ames and produced by Lilias Outerbridge with stage management by Rebecca Stuart. The set, the first to inhabit the new stage, was designed by local artist Linden Frederick. Tom Sadowski did lighting design; Neal Harkness, the sound design; and Pat Hustus is handling props.

Tickets for the July 1 preview are $8. The run will continue Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through July 11. Regular ticket prices are $15, $10 for teens, and are available from the box office (338-9668); at Yo Mamma’s Home, 96 Main St.; or at the park one hour before performances.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.