The Garden Suburb Theatre (GST) is a friendly and welcoming amateur theatre company.

We are a registered charity promoting involvement in the Dramatic Arts in North London. We welcome anyone who wishes to learn more about drama, either by participating in or coming to watch one of our diverse programme of shows.

Audition Notice

Harvey

by Mary Chase

Performances

Performance Dates:

  • Thursday October 24th 2013, 8pm
  • Friday October 25th 2013, 8pm
  • Saturday October 26th 2013, 3pm and 8pm

The Bull Theatre, 68 The High Street, London, EN5 5SJ

Audition

Audition for all parts (except Harvey)

St Margaret's Church Hall, Victoria Avenue N3 1BD

Sunday 9th June at 7.30 pm

Director: Matthew Phelan

Harvey is a Pulitzer Prize winning 1944 play about Elwood P. Dowd, a mild-mannered, pleasant man, who claims his best friend is a Pooka, in the form of an invisible 6-foot, 1-and-a-half-inch tall white rabbit. We'll be setting the play in post war England, so don't worry if you're american accent isn't up to scratch! A taste of Harvey: "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

His social-climbing sister, Veta, increasingly finds his eccentric behavior embarrassing. She decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare her and her daughter Myrtle Mae from future embarrassment. When they arrive at the sanitarium, a comedy of errors ensues. The doctors commit 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, and esteemed psychiatrist, Dr. Chumley(50-60) and his business partner, Dr. Sanderson, an ambitious, handsome young doctor who has a complicated relationship with the young Nurse Kelly.

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 E.J. Lofgren, a taxi driver who has become involved in the proceedings) does Veta realize that she'd rather have Elwood the same as he's always been - carefree and kind - even if it means living with Harvey.

Character list:
  • Elwood P. Dowd(30-50) An affable man who claims to have an unseen friend Harvey, a six-foot rabbit. A friendly eccentric who spends his days and nights in the taverns of his unnamed town. Elwood introduces Harvey to everyone he meets. Elwood is a charmer, always pleasant when talking to people, even those who address him gruffly. He has a stack of calling cards in his pocket and takes one out to offer to each new person he meets.
  • HarveySix foot invisible rabbit (will not be cast at this audition)
  • Veta(40-55) His social-climbing sister, who increasingly finds his eccentric behavior embarrassing. It is her embarrassment with Elwood and her fear that her daughter, Myrtle, will not be able to land a suitable husband because of his eccentricities, that has her take him to Chumley's sanitarium to be committed. Veta is a comic character and is just as unstable in her own way as is her brother
  • Myrtle Mae(20-30) Myrtle is a young woman, the daughter of Veta. She is afraid that prospective suitors will be frightened away when they find out that Elwood has an imaginary friend. Myrtle is less charitable about Elwood's odd behavior than Veta, expressing the wish that he might be hit by a truck and making arrangements to sell the house as soon as he is taken off to the sanitarium.
  • Dr. Chumley(50-60) The sanitarium director, and an esteemed psychiatrist He is a difficult, exacting man, feared by his subordinates, unwilling to tolerate mistakes. He undergoes an unlikely transformation during the play
  • Dr. Sanderson(20s-30s) Dr Chumley's business partner, an ambitious, handsome young doctor. He is just as infatuated with Nurse Kelly as she is with him, but he only reveals his concern indirectly.
  • Nurse Kelly(20s-30s)A sympathetic character, a pretty young woman who appears to have some sort of love/hate relationship with Dr. Sanderson.

  • Smaller parts:
  • E.J. Lofgren(30-60) A taxi driver who has had all kinds of passengers. A small part but with some very wise words
  • Betty Chumley(50-60) Dr Chumley's wife. Like Veta, she is more concerned with socializing than with science
  • Mrs Ethel Chauvenet(50+) a wealthy society lady and old friend of the family. She is a member of the town's social circle
  • Miss JohnsonA maid. No age specified
  • Duane Wilson(Late 20s-early 40s) The muscle of Chumley's Rest, a devoted orderly responsible for handling the patients who will not cooperate voluntarily.
  • Judge Omar Gaffney(50s-70s)The judge is an old family friend of the Dowds, a representative of the people in town who are accustomed to seeing Elwood talking to Harvey and who do not think anything of it. He is the family's lawyer

Audition Pieces

Copies of the script, more information and general chit-chat are available from:

Matthew Phelan (Director)
Felicity Phelan (PA)

I would like to introduce the piece as a thought-provoking comedy of errors. Our approach on the play will be simple staging with a focus on getting the timing of the lines spot on to really nail the comedy of the piece. It is a beautiful play from start to end which will get people laughing and reflecting on their own view point on life and how they interact with others, even those a little different to the norm.
We will design a poster and video trailer to promote the show. I'm going to throw in some animation too.

Please try to read the whole play. You can borrow copies from us, contact as above.

Rehearsals will start late August and will be two evenings a week and Sunday afternoons.

Please note that, though you do not have to join the GST to audition, all actors in a GST show are required to be members.