by Mary Chase
Directed by Tom Badowski (Moretown)
Show Dates: May 31 - June 16, 2019
$16 for evening shows (8pm)
$12 for matinees (2pm) / special $10 for opening Sunday
Interview with Harvey director and actor on MRV-TV.
First performed in 1979, Harvey marks the first show of the Valley Players 40th
season, and the first show the Valley Players produced.
Harvey tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, who insists on including his friend Harvey in all of his sister Veta’s social gatherings. Trouble is, Harvey is an imaginary six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit. To avoid future embarrassment for her family—and especially for her daughter, Myrtle Mae—Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium. At the sanitarium, a frantic Veta explains to the staff that her years of living with Elwood’s hallucination have caused her to see Harvey also, and so the doctors mistakenly commit her instead of her mild-mannered brother. The truth comes out, however; Veta is freed, and the search is on for Elwood, who eventually arrives at the sanitarium of his own volition, looking for Harvey. But it seems that Elwood and his invisible companion have had a strange influence on more than one of the doctors. Only at the end does Veta realize that maybe Harvey isn’t so bad after all.
Elwood P. Dowd - Doug Bergstein (Warren)
Elwood P. Dowd is the central character of the play, a charming eccentric who’s best friend is Harvey, an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit. Elwood is well mannered, very friendly, and has “old-school gentleman charm”. Elwood is Veta’s older brother.
Dr. William B. Chumley - Jack Bradt (Winooski)
Dr. Chumley is an esteemed psychiatrist and the head of Chumley’s Rest with years of experience. He is a difficult, exacting man who will go to any length to protect the reputation of his sanitarium.
Dr. Lyman Sanderson - Wes Olds (Montpelier)
Dr. Sanderson is a young and highly qualified psychiatrist, handpicked by Dr. Chumley. His talent is only surpassed by his vanity. He is as infatuated with Nurse Kelly as she is with him, though he struggles not to let on.
Wilson - Barry Bolio (Middlesex)
Wilson is the muscle of Chumley’s Rest, a devoted orderly responsible for handling the patients who will not cooperate voluntarily. He sets his sites on Myrtle Mae Simmons soon after meeting her.
Judge Omar Gaffney - Bill Hannon (Duxbury)
The judge is an old family friend of the Dowds and the family’s lawyer. He is fiercely protective of the family and surprisingly understanding of Elwood’s belief in Harvey.
Veta Louise Simmons - Rachel Natvig (Northfield)
Elwood’s younger sister, Veta has returned to the family home after the death of her mother and is intent on landing a suitable husband for her daughter Myrtle Mae. She is very concerned about fitting into society and all the social proprieties that that involves. She also loves her older brother Elwood very much.
Ruth Kelly - Mikki Nucci (Waitsfield)
Nurse Kelly is a sympathetic character, a pretty young woman who has a love/hate relationship with Dr. Sanderson. She is sweet and kind and looks for the best in people.
Myrtle Mae Simmons - Ann Naumann (Richmond)
Myrtle is Veta’s Daughter (Elwood’s Niece). Both Veta and Myrtle are about the business of finding Myrtle a man to marry-a mission that is made impossible with Elwood and Harvey constantly popping in. Myrtle is extremely self-centered.
Ethel Chauvenet - Marci Robinson (Warren)
Mrs. Chauvenet is an old friend of the family. She is an elite member of the town’s social circle that Veta desperately wants Myrtle to break into.
Betty Chumley - Andra Krushenick (Northfield)
Dr. Chumley’s kind and talkative wife.
E. J. Lofgren - Marci Robinson (Warren)
E.J. Lofgren is a cab driver whose monologue about sanitarium passengers is crucial to the climax of the play.