Encore Michigan

“Harvey” hangs out at The Purple Rose this summer; previews begin June 15

Preview May 23, 2017 Encore Staff

CHELSEA—Tickets are on sale for The Purple Rose Theatre Company’s summer production, Harvey, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic by Mary Chase.  Performances run from Thursday, June 15 through Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. Previews, with reduced-price tickets, are available through Thursday, June 22; opening night is Friday, June 23.

Ticket prices range from $20.50 to $46 with special discounts for students, seniors, teachers, members of the military and groups. For more information or to make reservations call (734) 433-7673 or go to www.purplerosetheatre.org.

Elwood P. Dowd insists on including his friend Harvey in all of his sister Veta’s social gatherings. Trouble is, Harvey is an invisible six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit. To avoid future embarrassment for her family—especially for her daughter Myrtle Mae—Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium. When they arrive at the sanitarium, a comedy of errors ensues.

Guy Sanville will direct the cast of 11 actors, which includes David Bendena (Chelsea), Caitlin Cavannaugh (Chicago, IL), Susan Craves (Clarkston), Ruth Crawford (Ann Arbor), Rusty Mewha (Plymouth), Hugh Maguire (Ann Arbor), Richard McWilliams (Dayton, OH), Lauren Knox (Milan), Michelle Mountain (Grass Lake), Larry Peters (Rochester), Tom Whalen (Royal Oak). Set design is by Sarah Pearline, properties by Danna Segrest, costumes by Suzanne Young, lighting by Noele Stollmack and sound by Brad Phillips. Angie Kane Ferrante is the stage manager. Thomas Macias is the assistant stage manager.

Harvey is my favorite American classic play,” says director Guy Sanville. “For over 60 years, this magical, hilarious, heartfelt and thought-provoking comedy has moved, delighted and inspired millions of people to rediscover the kindness inherent in all human beings.”

In the early 1940s, Chase spent two years writing “Harvey.” On Nov. 1, 1944, it opened on Broadway and ran for four and a half years, making it the sixth longest-running play at the time. Chase received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1945. Over the course of her career, she wrote 14 plays, three of which were made into Hollywood films: “Sorority House” (1939), “Harvey” (1950), and “Bernardine” (1957).

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