NFA Drama Preparing to Debut “Harvey”

NFA Drama Preparing to Debut Harvey

Tila Rahman, NFA Red & White Reporter

It is officially fall season and the fall production is right around the corner. Norwich Free Academy theater teacher Phil Trostler and his students are currently preparing for the fall production of “Harvey”.

“Harvey” is the story of a man who is best friends with an imaginary six-foot bunny named Harvey. The play was written in 1944 by Mary Chase. Even though the idea of an imaginary might seem comical to most, lead actor Christopher Turner and other students who are preparing to perform at NFA believe it is more than just comedy.

“There’s a lot of moving pieces to it and I think when people watch it and see it all moving together it’ll be laugh after laugh after laugh, but there’s also an emotional aspect to it which I think will resonate to a lot of people.” said Turner “I chose “Harvey” because I read it for classes before and many students had become emotionally attached to it,” said Trostler.

“Harvey” was chosen to be the fall play not just for the emotion but was also picked for its realism and relatability.

“Another reason I picked “Harvey” was because it has been three years since we’ve done a realistic play. “Harvey” is about an outlandish concept, but it’s written and performed in a realistic way. The past few years we’ve done “Clue”, “The Monologue Show”, and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Clue is an over the top farce, The Monologue Show was a series of one person performances edited together into a movie because of COVID. So it’s been over four years since the actors have performed in a more realistic manner, at least onstage with other actors.” said Trostler. 

This decision of doing Harvey was made last spring, but the thought of it being a production at the school goes all the way back to 2017. 

Picking the play isn’t the only other big preparation, it is also the casting and rehearsals before the showing on November 18th and 19th. The audition process was 2 days with original auditions and callbacks. The auditions were held by Trostler, with the help of audition advisors Shannon Andros, Bruce Bierman, Scott Butler and Sarah Noiseux. Since casting concluded there have been many rehearsals for the show.

“We try to have rehearsals as much as we can. We try to have rehearsals everyday if we can.” said Christopher Turner 

The cast of Harvey is hoping for the audience to not only have a laugh while watching the production but also feel that emotional aspect that comes with it and feel those emotions while seeing the production. The showings will be November 18th and 19th both at 7 PM in the Slater Auditorium. Tickets for NFA students, children under 12 and senior citizens are five dollars. The general public can purchase tickets for $10. Tickets can be purchased at http://nfaschool.org/playshop