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