‘Harvey’ Promises to be a ‘Hopping’ Good Time

Growing up, most people had an imaginary friend. But what happens when you become middle-aged and you still interact with an invisible 6-foot-tall rabbit? Welcome to the world of “Harvey!”

Presenting its second production of the season, the William Woods University Theatre Department performs “Harvey,” a tale of Elwood P. Dowd and his imaginary friend, Harvey, a large pooka.

According to Joe Potter, WWU assistant professor and artistic director of theatre, “Harvey” is an “American theatre classic comedy that has become one of the most successful and popular plays ever produced.”

Featuring a good-natured town drunk, a mythical creature who can appear to whomever whenever he pleases, and an eccentric Aunt Veta, “Harvey” promises to keep audiences laughing.

Performances are scheduled in Dulany Auditorium at 8 p.m. Dec. 5, 6 and 7, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

Written by Mary Chase, this Pulitzer-prize-winning play is directed by guest artist Kathy Potter, whose WWU directing credits include “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Heiress” and “Eleemosynary.”

With 11 members, the cast draws from both William Woods and the community. Main characters include WWU students Grant Lierheimer, Lindz Pace and Lindsey Mertes, as well as Fulton resident Michael Wilson.

Lierheimer, a senior from Mexico, Mo., is Elwood P. Dowd; Pace, a sophomore from Rolla, Mo., is Myrtle Mae Simmons, and Mertes, a junior from Branson, Mo., is Veta Louise Simmons. Wilson, a dentist at the Fulton State Hospital, plays William R. Chumley.

Additional cast members from Fulton are Suzy Johnston, Callaway County Circuit Clerk, as Betty Chumley and George Spratt, a retired Episcopalian minister, as Judge Omar Gaffney.

Other WWU cast members are: Dan Binning, a freshman from St. Louis, Mo., as E.J. Lofgren; Jason Flauaus, a junior from St. Peters, Mo., as Duane Wilson; Meghan Parks, a freshman from Quincy, Ill., as Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet; Ryan Paul, a sophomore from Olathe, Kan., as Lyman Sanderson, M.D. and Christy Pinz, a junior from St. Peters, Mo., as Ruth Kelly, R.N.

Ian Didriksen, a freshman from Eureka, Mo., is the lighting designer; Joe Potter is the scene designer, and Jane Friedman is the costume designer.

Upcoming productions by the WWU theatre department include the psychological thriller “Blood Relations” and the hilarious comedy “Faith County.”

Tickets for “Harvey” are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 50 and above and children, ages 3 –12. For tickets, call the box office at (573) 592-4267. For more information, call Joe Potter at (573) 592-4281.