Harvey Auditions

A Comedy by Mary Chase

Director:  Mark Suarez
Producers: Beth Eslick and Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

Audition Dates & Times: 

November 7-9, 2021 at 7:00pm.

Audition Location: 

Conejo Players Theatre
351 S. Moorpark Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361

Performance Dates: 

January 21 – February 12, 2022 

Fridays and Saturdays 8:00pm / Sundays 2:00pm
Thursday January 27  8:00pm
Saturday February 5 & 12 2:00pm

Audition Requirements: 

There will only be readings from the script. Sides will be provided on conejoplayers.org. Non-union, NO PAY. You will be required to show your proof of COVID-19 vaccination if you are cast.
The rehearsal schedule is to be determined, but a preliminary one will be posted at auditions. In general, most rehearsals are weekday evenings (Mondays – Wednesdays) beginning at 7:30 pm. Please be prepared to provide any conflicts you may have from November 15 – January 10, regardless if it’s a rehearsal day or not.
No conflicts will be accepted after January 10, or during any performance dates.

Plot Summary: 

Elwood P. Dowd is an affable man who claims to have an unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend Harvey — whom Elwood describes as a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch (192 cm) tall pooka resembling an anthropomorphic rabbit. Elwood introduces Harvey to everyone he meets. His social-climbing sister, Veta, increasingly finds his eccentric behavior embarrassing. She decides to have him committed to a sanitarium. When they arrive at the sanitarium, a comedy of errors ensues. The young Dr. Sanderson mistakenly commits Veta instead of Elwood, but when the truth comes out, the search is on for Elwood and his invisible companion. When Elwood shows up at the sanitarium looking for his lost friend Harvey, it seems that the mild-mannered Elwood's delusion has had a strange influence on the staff, including sanitarium director Dr. Chumley. Only just before Elwood is to be given an injection that will make him into a "perfectly normal human being, and “you know what bastards they are!" (in the words of a taxi-cab driver who has become involved in the proceedings) does Veta realize that she would rather have Elwood the same as he has always been — carefree and kind — even if it means living with Harvey. But the only reason Veta hears from the cab driver is that she can't find her coin purse and has to get the cab fare from Elwood. That is when the cab driver sees what is happening and goes into his spiel. Later Veta realizes that the purse was there all along, but Harvey hid it from her.

For More Information: 

Please call Beth Eslick, Producer, at 805-377-3303.

Character Breakdown: 

Elwood P. Dowd - 40-55. Everybody’s pal. Kind, gentle, sweet, charming, charismatic. Equally at home in a sawdust on the floor tavern, a sewing circle, or a 4-year old’s birthday party. A good listener and a brazen humanist. Beloved though he is, there is something haunted and ethereal about him, which strangely only serves to make him more likable. Lonely. Drinks too much. His best friend and platonic life partner is a six and a half foot tall rabbit only he can see.

Veta Louise Simmons – 45-60. A proper and well-respected, old money society matron. Constantly embarrassed by her brother Elwood and his best buddy, the invisible rabbit Harvey, who she also sees sometimes but also no, she does not, because good society ladies don’t see giant invisible rabbits. Exhausted from a lifetime of camouflage and sanding down her edges to fit in that round hole.

Dr. William B. Chumley - 60-80. Has seen a lot of mental illness in his many years of selfless toil, and has plenty of money to show for it. Crusty, but likes to think of himself as intellectually nimble. Respected by his peers, revered by his patients, celebrated by his community. Blessed by the certainty that he has never been seriously wrong in his life ... but something is missing regardless.

Dr. Lyman Sanderson - 30-45. Young. Arrogant. Handsome. Career-focused. Wants to be Dr. Chumley someday, but does not have Dr. Chumley’s humanity. Spends a lot of time hitting on nurses, especially Nurse Kelly, with whom he has love/hate relationship (chemistry with that actress is important). The kind of guy who doesn’t tip except when he’s on a date, when he way overtips. You know the kind.

Nurse Ruth Kelly - 25-30. Brighter than she comes across, but society has taught her that her only value lies in marrying a doctor and giving him children, so that’s mostly what she’s interested in. Besides covering her light under a bushel, she spends a lot of time trying to decide if she’s attracted to Dr. Sanderson.

Duane Wilson - 30-50. An orderly at the mental hospital who should probably be a patient himself. Mean, craven, a bit of a sadist. It is implied that he may take liberties with female patients. Probably quite powerless in his life outside the hospital. Sees the patients as less than human. Not an uncommon perspective for his time, but still deeply unfortunate, as it allows him to justify his rotten behavior.

Myrtle Mae Simmons - 18-21. Veta’s daughter. Unmarried. Veta probably cannot WAIT to be rid of her. Spoiled and bitter. Cries and yells when she doesn’t get her way. Veruca Salt would find her over the top. Fears social humiliation more than anything.

EJ Lofgren - 50-70. Can be played by a man or a woman. In their own eyes, the last honest human being. Been driving a cab so long they’ve got pedals instead of shoes. Has seen everything and knows people inside and out. Like Elwood, a decent person and a brazen humanist. They only have one scene, but it’s a doozy.

Judge Omar Gaffney - 60-80. What Dr. Chumley is to psychiatric medicine, Judge Gaffney is to the law. Respected, civilized, wealthy, powerful. Knows he’s always right. Saddled, unfortunately, with the need to protect the Dowd/Simmons family, and frankly does not have much patience for any of them.

Betty Chumley - 60-80. Dr. Chumley’s wife. Good-hearted, spirited, if a bit vacant. Perhaps a little annoyed at her husband’s constant need to work. When is he ever going to retire?

Ethel Chauvenet - 60-80. An older woman of the Dowd-Simmons’s social class. Nice enough, but has a limited imagination. Has a grandson of marriageable age, which makes her of great interest to Veta and Myrtle.

Mrs. Johnson/Mr. Johnson - the maid/butler. They’ve seen enough to know they’ve seen too much.