By Joseph Pratt
The Shawnee State University Theatre Department will open its theatrical season this weekend with a production of the classic Pulitzer Prize winning comedy “Harvey.” The Broadway classic premiered in 1944 and has been revived and adapted on many occasions.
According to Dramatists, the company that owns the theatrical rights for “Harvey,” the show is a story of acceptance, as it follows characters Veta, Elwood and the giant, invisible rabbit Harvey.
In the story, Elwood P. Dowd 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.
The Shawnee State University Theatre Department will open curtain on their show on Sept. 24 through 26 and Oct. 1 through 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kahl Studio Theater at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. General Admission for the show is $10. Tickets for current SSU students are $3.
Tickets and information are available at the McKinley Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be contacted at 740-351-3600. Tickets are also available online through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com/venue/41868. The Vern Riffe Center for the Arts is at 940 Second Street.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.