Classic American play ‘Harvey’ is making a comeback at this college after a 48-year hiatus.
By Ryan A. Flournoy
The theater department is announcing open auditions for “Harvey” 3-5 p.m. Feb. 1 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.
The auditions are open to all Alamo Colleges students.
Students interested in auditioning must prepare a one- to two-minute monologue from a mid-20th century play.
Since the play is a comedy, students should consider performing a comedic monologue, but it is not required, said Jeff Hunt, fine arts chair and speech professor.
The callback list will be posted on the callboard behind the auditorium by 9 a.m. Feb. 2. Callback auditions will be the same day and will consist of script reading from the actual play.
“You don’t have to be a theater major to audition for the play,” Hunt said.
Opening night is March 31, followed by seven more performances in the following week including one performance for a local high school.
Centered on the main character, Elwood P. Dowd, whose best friend is an invisible 6-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey, this 1940s play by Mary Chase won a Pulitzer Prize for drama.
A comedy, “Harvey” remains a relevant piece of literary work in today’s culture, Hunt said. It has been staged as recently as 2012 in New York City at the Studio 54 Theatre.
“Harvey” is the only production from the theater department in the spring.
“SAC has not produced the play since 1968,” Hunt said. “The department is very excited about the play. … It’s an American classic.”
The director is theater Instructor Ronnie Watson, who taught here for the last 11 years.
“I believe Ronnie is the perfect director for the play,” Hunt said. “He has the perfect comedic timing and is able to instill that in the student actors.”
Watson is known for his technical use of the auditorium to design his vivid sets.
“He favors plays from mid-20th century,” Hunt said. “He has designed a set that is beautiful and that will showcase technical theater.”
Watson has won several local theater awards for best set design and best director including an Alamo Theatre Arts Council Globe Award for scene design.
“Harvey” is casting up to 12 characters and will consist of three scene environments.
“Anybody who’s anyone can come and audition,” said Grace Taylor, theater sophomore. “You can use your own experiences and apply what you’ve learned to the character.”
Taylor, who has done three productions here, hopes to continue her acting career at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
The theater department is expecting a huge crowd for each performance, and is expecting theater alumni to watch the play that has so much history in American theater, Hunt said.
For more information, students can pick up an audition packet in Room 105 of McAllister Fine Arts Center.