Mary Chase’s 1944 Comedy: Harvey

MattR, Staff Reporter

This past weekend Cy Woods Theater Company  hosted a production of Mary Chase’s timeless comedy, Harvey. The plays characters consist of a mother (Veta Louise Simmons), her daughter (Myrtle Mae Simmons), her drunk brother (Elwood) and his “imaginary friend”, an invisible 6 foot white rabbit named Harvey. Things become peculiar as uncle Elwood introduces his friend to everyone at his families party. In an effort to help her brother’s “condition” Veta looks to admit him to a mental hospital but in the midst of confusion the doctors there admit her instead of him.  He is then allowed to leave and when lost the doctors, staff and family run around the city crazy, looking for the estranged Elwood as he also goes around looking for Harvey. The head doctor obsessed with finding Elwood ends up meeting both Elwood and Harvey in a drunken stoop-er. A more serious light is revealed when the doctors try to eliminate Harvey by giving Elwood an injection, Veta at this time realizes she loves her brother the way he is, no matter how embarrassing he is,  and decides to cancel the treatment for a fear of what it will due to him.

Below, Contributing writer Kyle H. ( also the cab driver in this play), gives an account of the plays creative process and give kudos to some of his fellow actors.


“In terms of the quality of the acting you saw on stage and the way things were going the last Saturday before the play opened, there was a gigantic amount of improvement from the latter point to the former. This really speaks to the talent and work ethic of these actors as well as the years of experience they have put into this craft.
As for my performance, I benefited massively from Mr. Drake’s exceptional ability to direct, the talent, experience, and will to help others that the rest of the cast have in spades, and a significant amount of courage I somehow found within my usually craven self. I was extremely lucky to be cast with my absolute lack of theater credentials but for a failed stint in Interpretation (Which is an acting event) in Speech & Debate. Frankly, I was only cast because I couldn’t find a decent comedic piece to not have memorized, as because of my lack of theater experience I was cleared to read from the script I brought by Mrs. Knott. This led me to pull off a genuine stunt in which I took the play that the Greek Dramatic that I was required to bring was from, found the chorus, or the part that rhymes, and rapped it.
A quick word on some of the actors based on my experiences. Austin Hoeft is slow to find out how he wants to play his character, but when he does he is a maestro. Cam Hill is a great human and an even better actor who seems to specialize in playing loud, overbearing mothers to the tee. Sam Hackett is absolutely hilarious. It was a pleasure working with them and all the other actors I got to work with.”