Harvey - February 23 - March 09, 2024

Jedlicka Performing Arts Center

 End Notes 

Note from the director:


In 1942 the world was engaged in war, once again. Loved ones were overseas fighting and the American spirit was still at a low coming out of the Great Depression. During this difficult time Mary Chase starts writing a new play about a friendly inebriate, Elwood P. Dowd, who's best friend is an invisible, six-foot one-and-a-half inch tall white rabbit named Harvey. She has one goal in mind: to once again make America laugh.

In 1944, two years and more than fifty drafts later, Harvey opened on Broadway to rave reviews and ran for four and half years, making it one of the longest running shows at the time. In 1945 Harvey won the Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama. The play has been adapted to film four times (most notably in 1950 with Jimmy Stewart and Josephine Hull), revived on Broadway twice, produced several times in the West end, and has played on community and academic stages over the years.
But what is it about this comedy of errors that has stood the test of time? When the play premiered, towards the end of WWII, the world was in need of hope and a restored faith in humanity. In a play full of socialites, doctors, and lawyers we are reminded of the small pleasures of sitting in a bar, playing the jukebox, and conversing with just about anyone we happen to encounter, no matter their status...or even mythological background. Elwood P. Dowd is that hope and faith in humanity that the world needed. His light and optimism are just as valuable today. 
Mary Chase believed in writing for the human spirit. Her philosophy in life was one that Mr. Dowd reiterates in Harvey:
"In this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so pleasant. For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me"
Enjoy the show,
Jim LaPietra

Special Thank You

Morton College Board of Trustees

President Keith McLaughlin

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