“Harvey” play opening May 3

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024



West T. Hill Community Theatre is putting on the play “Harvey” by Mary Chase. Shows are May 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 7:30 p.m., and May 5 and 12 at 3:00 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

Director Cynthia Woolcott explained that the show centers around a man named Elwood P. Dowd, whose best friend is a six and a half foot tall rabbit named Harvey. His sister Veta Louise Simmons and niece Myrtle Mae Simmons moved back to live with him, since the death of his and Veta’s mother.

Veta tries to get Myrtle established in society so she can find a husband. However, Elwood keeps introducing his friend Harvey around town, embarrassing Veta and Myrtle. So Veta decides the best thing is to have Elwood committed to Chumley’s Rest, a local sanitarium.  However, Veta is committed by mistake, and chaos ensues.

The show won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1945, which beat out Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.”

West T. Hill first performed “Harvey” in 1996. Woolcott said the theater’s board felt that patrons would enjoy revisiting the show because it is a classic, and is unique in comparison with the more modern shows this season.

“‘Harvey’ is an ensemble piece and a true classic,” Woolcott said. “Many of the shows from this season at West T. Hill have been more modern.”

Elwood P. Dowd is played by Kolton Winfield. Elwood is a friendly, easy-going eccentric who spends his time visiting the local taverns.

Elwood’s scatter-brained sister Veta is played by Pamela Connors. Woolcott explained that Veta is the one who drives the theme of the play by joining the forces of logic and imagination.

Myrtle Mae Simmons, Veta’s self-centered daughter, is played by Mara Merchant. Dr. William Chumley is played by Tom Griffiths. A difficult and pompous character, he is the head psychiatrist and owner of the sanitarium.

Woolcott said the audience will enjoy the heart of the show, which shares a lesson about the importance of friendship and loyalty.