Playhouse 22 will be holding auditions for its production of Harvey on Monday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m., with callbacks and additional auditions to be held on December 19th, if needed. The show runs March 20-April 5 with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. All Roles are currently open.

Directed by Jeff Seesselberg (previously directed Little Shop of Horrors, The Mousetrap, and Frost/Nixon all at Playhouse 22)

Written by Mary Chase, Harvey is about Elwood P. Dowd, who 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. 

 

Auditioners are asked to prepare a short comedic monologue (1-2 minutes), but sides from the script will also be provided.

 

Rehearsals will begin the second week in January, with the read-through most likely happening prior to the new year. Rehearsals will generally be from 7:30p-10p, 2-3 times per week in January, with weekend rehearsals being to be added in late February into March. Specific days will be determined by cast and crew availability.

Tech week is from March 12-19, and all cast members MUST BE AVAILABLE those dates.

Male roles

  • Elwood P. Dowd (Lead) (Age 35-55) - Elwood P. Dowd is the central character of the play, a charming eccentric whose best friend is Harvey, an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit. Elwood is well mannered, very friendly, and has “old-school gentleman charm”. Elwood is Veta’s older brother but the age difference needn’t be dramatic. 

  • Dr. William B. Chumley (Age 50-80) - Dr. Chumley is an esteemed psychiatrist, and the head of Chumley’s Rest, with years of experience. He is a difficult, exacting man who will go to any length to protect the reputation of his sanitarium. Usually played an older actor.

  • Dr. Lyman Sanderson (Age 20-35) Dr. Sanderson is a young and highly qualified psychiatrist, handpicked by Dr. Chumley. His talent is only surpassed by his vanity. He is as infatuated with Nurse Kelly as she is with him, though he struggles not to let on. Usually played a younger actor.

  • Duane Wilson (Age 20-50) Wilson is the muscle of Chumley’s Rest, a devoted orderly responsible for handling the patients who will not cooperate voluntarily. He sets his sites on Myrtle Mae Simmons soon after meeting her.

Female Roles

  • Veta Louise Simmons (Age 35-55) Elwood’s younger sister, Veta has returned to the family home after the death of her mother and is intent on landing a suitable husband for her daughter Myrtle Mae. She is very concerned about fitting into society and all the social proprieties that that involves. She also loves her older brother Elwood very much. This is the dynamic that drives the action of the play.

  • Myrtle Mae Simmons (Age 18-30) Myrtle is Veta’s Daughter (Elwood’s Niece). Both Veta and Myrtle are about the business of finding Myrtle a man to marry-a mission that is made impossible with Elwood and Harvey constantly popping in. Myrtle is extremely self-centered. Usually played a younger actress.

  • Ruth Kelly, RN (Age 18-35) Nurse Kelly is a sympathetic character, a pretty young woman who has a love/hate relationship with Dr. Sanderson. She is sweet and kind and looks for the best in people. Usually played a younger actress.

  • Ethel Chauvenet (Age 50-80) Mrs. Chauvenet is an old friend of the family. She is an elite member of the town’s social circle that Veta desperately wants Myrtle to break into. Usually played an older actress. A smaller role (Act 1 only) - may double as Betty Chumley.

  • Betty Chumley (Age 50-80) Dr. Chumley’s kind and talkative wife. Usually played an older actress. A smaller role (Act 2 only) - may double as Ms Chauvenet.

Gender-Neutral Roles:

 

  • E. J. Lofgren (Open age) E.J. Lofgren is a cab driver whose monologue about sanitarium passengers is crucial to the climax of the play. This role has a single scene near the very end and would likely have a limited rehearsal schedule.

  • Judge Gaffney (Age 40-80) The judge is an old family friend of the Dowds and the family’s lawyer. Gaffney is fiercely protective of the family, and surprisingly understanding of Elwood’s belief in Harvey. Usually played an older actor.

 

PLEASE NOTE: all cast members should be comfortable with the possibility of assisting with scenic changes during the run of the show.

 

Playhouse 22 is located at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center at 721 Cranbury Road.  

 

No stipends will be provided to performers.  This is an all volunteer cast.

 

For more information about Playhouse 22, visit Playhouse22.org.  Questions can be directed to information@playhouse22.org or by phone at (732) 254-3939.  

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