Festival Playhouse introduces “Harvey”
Mary Chase’s 1944 comedy details the account of Elwood P. Dowd as he introduces guests at a dinner party to his “friend,” an invisible six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit by the name of Harvey. Elwood’s sister Veta, having seen enough, resigns her brother to a sanitarium. However, he and his furry friend roam free when Veta herself ends up within its walls.
Cameron Blankenship and Taylor Montgomery, both Senior Acting majors here at WSU, will be suiting up as the lead roles Elwood Dowd and Veta Simmons respectively.
“I get to step into other peoples’ shoes and experience a level of empathy that most people don’t,” said Blankenship.
Blankenship said “Harvey” is a great show, and that he can already see a change in his daily life since inhabiting Elwood’s character these past weeks.
Montgomery feels that acting is something she was born to do.
“When you know you’re meant to do something, it’s worth all the hard work,” Montgomery said.
She said she enjoyed playing this character“because she’s crazy. And I’m crazy, so it works out pretty well.”
“Harvey” Director Brian McKnight has previously directed other productions at WSU, including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Our Town” and “All My Sons.”
McKnight said he felt strongly about his connection to the actors and the play.
“I try to be the kind of director that I want as an actor,” he said. “Because I think of myself as an actor who directs.”
As for “Harvey,” what interests McKnight is the humanity of it.
“I like rough edges,” Harvey said. “This is a really enjoyable night in theater, and I think there’s a humanity that we’ve found.”
“Harvey” premiers in the WSU Creative Arts Center on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. For ticketing information, including additional performance dates, contact the Box Office at (937) 775-2500.