School is back in session, and with the arrival of the new scholastic year we see the reformation of various groups and activities on the Frontier Campus. No event is perhaps more revered or anticipated than the annual Fall production from our esteemed Drama Club. This year that production will be the classic comedy about an invisible rabbit, Harvey, written by Mary Chase.
It was my distinct pleasure to sit down with the director of this year’s show, Mr. David Peck. No doubt many of our readers will know that Mr. Peck has advised, and some may say shaped, the talented minds of some of Frontier’s leading thespians and crew members.
When we last spoke to Mr. Peck, he was in the midst of directing George Orwell’s classic 1984. While that show was indeed harrowing, both onstage as well as off, Peck says that Harvey will be decidedly lighter.
“I am tickled when my students ask for a particular genre. After eight years directing, I find it rewarding when my students take part in the process,” said Peck, his intelligent, yet kind, eyes shining.
For those not in the know, Harvey’s plot is one that sets itself apart from many others. Made into a popular film in 1950 starring legendary film actor Jimmy Stewart, it has become a touchstone of American cinema.
The story involves a bachelor named Elwood Dowd, who lives with his sister Veta Simmons. Life seems normal until Elwood begins conversing with a six foot tall rabbit named Harvey, that only Elwood can see. Elwood acts as if the presence of Harvey is a most natural thing, much to the chagrin of Veta and her daughter Myrtle Mae. It isn’t long before Veta considers committing Elwood to a local sanitarium, and due to a miscommunication, gets committed herself. After that a comedy of errors ensues.
When asked why he chose Harvey, Peck turns pensive before giving his eloquent, if succinct, reply.
“It is always down to many considerations. The Drama Club students I have to work with, the size of the cast, and of course the quality of the material. This is a classic play, and I know our students will do it justice.”
Over the course of his tenure at Frontier, many words have been used to describe Mr. Peck, not the least of which include visionary, luminary, but perhaps more than any others, big and scary. With pride he will acquiesce to each descriptive offering, and smiles when I mention them.
“It is a real pleasure to be thought of in those terms,” Peck explains, his voice quavering with barely restrained emotion. “I only hope that I can live up to the adjectives that are bestowed upon me.”
Harvey will be featured December 6th and 7th at 7 p.m. and December 8th at 2 p.m. in the Frontier auditorium. Tickets are 10 dollars for adults, and 7 dollars for students/seniors.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our school community for their continued support of the arts,” Peck finishes, “without our audience, we are nothing.”