Willapa Players
"Harvey" by Mary Chase
Spring Production (March 1957)
Directed by Betty Mullen and Jack Mathis

 

A LIKELY STORY:  Robert Hannan (Elwood P. Dowd) seems surprised that no doctor in the insane asylum believes in the existence of a 6-foot tall rabbit named "Harvey."  The play "Harvey," being rehearsed in the above photo by members of the Willapa Harbor Players, will be staged Thursday and Saturday nights at the Raymond high school auditorium.  Shown on stage from left to right are:  Robert Hannan, Darlene Islitzer, Jim Watts and Robert Claunch.

 

Local Newspaper Articles

Play Proceeds to Aid High School Auditorium Lights (Harbor Herald & Advertiser Feb. 28, 1957)

Proceeds from "Harvey" forthcoming comedy production to be staged by the Harbor Players here on March 28 and 30 will be earmarked for improvement of the lighting system in the Raymond high school auditorium.  This was decided at a meeting of the amateur theatrical group held in Bridges Inn last week.  Betty Mullen, director of the play, presided.  The play has been in rehearsal for some weeks.  Committees of the play include the following persons:  Jack Mathis, business manager and tickets; publicity, Gloria Kennedy, Norma Briney and Bob Claunch; Keith Townsend, Clyde Revord, Virginia McKinney, Iris Capps and Beverly Mathis, stage management and properties; Eleanor Mathis and Norma Briney, prompters and Norma Briney, ushers.  The group also devoted some time to the discussion of all fall production.

 

'Harvey' Cast, Directors Win High Praise By Dr. W. G. SARGENT (Harbor Herald & Advertiser April 4, 1957)

Last week the Harbor Players appeared in their third production "Harvey".  The performance equaled if, indeed, it did not excel former comedies produced by the same group.  However, such comparisons are specious since, it is inevitably the dramas themselves that are compared rather than the manner in which the dramas are performed.  If it is possible to get past this barrier of criticism, it must be allowed that "Harvey" was performed excellently.  The pace was smart and well maintained.  The players were articulate and there was a minimum of flubbed lines and, to all seeming, no lapses of memory.  Furthermore, the play was well cast, each character fitting his role, like hand and glove.
 
Certainly much praise is due the director of the company, Betty Mullins (sp?), who emerges from each production with added laurels.  Howbeit, one week before the premiere Miss Mullins was suddenly taken ill and final direction was placed in the capable hands of Jack Mathis who will be remembered as the fabulous Russian of the previous production "You Can't Take It With You."  It is difficult to assess Mr. Mathis's role in the production.  How much of its excellence was due to the direction of Miss Mullins and how much to Mr. Mathis?  However, if this show followed the usual course in its development, the last week of rehearsal was a fantastic hodgepodge of uncertainty and misgiving, and in this case much credit is due Mr. Mathis for putting into such delightful order what was probably chaotic confusion.  It would be fatuous to enumerate all the characters, there were about a dozen and each had an important part in carrying out the intricacies of the story, and each did his part very well.  But in all fairness, it must be said that the success of the show depended chiefly upon the acting of Robert Hannan.  He maintained his difficult role of contagious and beatific euphoria with just exactly the right amount of well considered insouciance.  Why has he been hiding his light under a bushel?  Let us say in conclusion that we are looking forward with anxious anticipation to the fall production.  The worthwhile endeavors of this local non-profit company merit the wholehearted support of the entire community. 

 

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