AUDITIONS SET FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNING “HARVEY” AT THEATRE 29
AUDITIONS for the classic comedy HARVEY will be held on Monday, July 2, at 6:00 p.m. at Theatre 29. Director Eddie Tucker encourages actors to cold-read for the six males ages 30 to 60 and the six females ages 20 – 60.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy by Mary Chase is the story of a perfect gentleman, Elwood P. Dowd, and his best friend, Harvey -- a pooka, who is a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit. When Elwood begins introducing Harvey around town, his embarrassed sister and her daughter determine to commit Elwood to a sanitarium. A mistake is made, however, and his sister is committed rather than Elwood! Eventually, the mistake is realized, and a hilarious search begins for Elwood and the invisible rabbit, which ends with Elwood’s reappearance and where all is resolved when his family realizes the error of their ways.
All roles are significant to the story and offer actors a chance to play meaty 1940’s era characters in this beloved, fast-paced comedy.
Elwood P. Dowd - the central character of the play, a friendly eccentric who spends his days and nights in the taverns of his unnamed town. Elwood’s best friend is Harvey, an invisible six and a half-foot-tall rabbit. The play leaves open several possibilities regarding exactly what Harvey is, whether he is a figment of Elwood’s imagination, as the psychiatrists would like to believe, or he is, as Elwood asserts, a supernatural being known as a pooka.
Veta Louise Simmons - Elwood’s sister, an important character in this play because she joins the play’s two opposing forces, logic and imagination.
Myrtle Mae Simmons - a young woman, the daughter of Veta. The main reason why she and her mother are concerned about their standing in the community is that they both are concerned that Myrtle find a man to marry.
Dr. Lyman Sanderson - young, for a psychiatrist, but very qualified — Dr. Chumley has picked him out of the twelve possible assistants that he tried. He is just as infatuated with Nurse Kelly as she is with him, but he only reveals his concern indirectly.
Nurse Ruth Kelly - a sympathetic character, a pretty young woman who appears to have some sort of love/hate relationship with Dr. Sanderson.
Wilson - the muscle of Chumley’s Rest, a devoted orderly responsible for handling the patients who will not cooperate voluntarily.
Ethel Chauvenet - an old friend of the family. She is a member of the town’s social circle, which Veta wants Myrtle to break into, and so they both flatter her and curry her favor.
Betty Chumley (the doctor's wife) - more concerned with socializing than with science: told that her husband has to examine a patient, she tells him, “Give a little quick diagnosis, Willie — we don’t want to be late to the party.”
Dr. William B. Chumley - an esteemed psychiatrist and the head of the sanitarium, “Chumley’s Rest,” to which Veta has Elwood taken. He is a difficult, exacting man, feared by his subordinates, unwilling to tolerate his mistakes.
Judge Omar Gaffney - an old family friend of the Dowds, a representative of the people in town who are accustomed to seeing Elwood talking to Harvey and who do not think anything of it.
E. J. Lofgren - He is the cab driver, at the end of the play, who makes Veta realize that the treatment that is supposed to make Elwood stop seeing Harvey might drain him of his kind personality.
Miss Johnson - listed in the Cast of Characters as “a cateress,” but her dialog in the play is tagged “Maid.” She only appears briefly in the first act: when Veta asks if she has seen the guest list, she says, “No, I haven’t Mrs. Simmons,” and leaves promptly.
HARVEY rehearsals begin Tuesday, July 3 at Theatre 29. The play opens August 17 and runs through September 9 every Friday and Saturday evening at 7:00pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm.