Theater: ‘Harvey’ Enters Final Weekend
By CHRISTOPHER SARACHILLI ’14
In Arcadia’s production of Harvey, which opens Feb. 20, you don’t see one of the lead characters.
Because, he is an invisible six-foot anthropomorphic rabbit.
“When we’re on stage, we always have to remember that Harvey is there,” said Clare McLaughlin ’14. “Jill [the director] constantly reminds us that we can’t stand on a particular spot because Harvey’s there or that we can’t block Harvey’s path.”
Written in 1944 by Mary Chase and made into a 1950 film with James Stewart, Harvey tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd (Daniel D’Albis ’17), a man whose best friend is the titular Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit seen only by him. It’s embarrassing for his high-society sister, Veta Simmons (McLaughlin) and her daughter Myrtle Mae (Olivia Lantz ’14). Finally fed up with Elwood’s impact on her social life, Veta attempts to commit him to a mental hospital led by Dr. Chumley (Logan Kuba ’16) in order to “cure” her brother of his invisible friend.
Arcadia’s production is a classic take on a classic play; there’s no modern update.
“I think that’s what’s great about our seasons,” said McLaughlin. “You can do something radical [like last fall’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream] or you can do a classic take on Harvey. You get the best of everything.”
Though the play hasn’t been updated since the 1940s, Harvey still speaks loudly to today’s audience. It’s a play about living moment to moment and being nice to one another—even if that means accepting a giant, invisible rabbit.
“What could be more important than living your life that way?” reflected McLaughlin.
Harvey runs until Sunday, March 2, at the MainStage Theater in Spruance Fine Arts Center.
- General admission – $15
- Arcadia students – Free with ID
- Non-Arcadia students, senior citizens, and Arcadia alumni – $12
- Feb. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and March 1 at 8 p.m.
- Feb. 22, 23, and March 1, 2 at 2 p.m.