I want to tell you about Mary Chase and what inspired her to write this screenplay, which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1945. Mary Coyle Chase was born on
February 25, 1906 in .
Her childhood revolved around the fairies, pookas, and spirits of Irish
folktales told by her mother and uncles.
Celtic legend also influenced Chase's understanding of mental
illness. She quoted her mother, Mary McDonough,
as saying, "Never be unkind or indifferent to a person others say is crazy. Often they have deep wisdom. We pay them great respect in the old country,
and we call them fairy people, and it could be they are sometimes." Denver,
Chase graduated high school at the early age of fifteen in 1921, and attended the
for a time. She spent much of the next
decade as a newspaper reporter. Mary Coyle married Robert Chase in 1928. She left the newspaper world to focus on her
family and her personal writing projects. University of Colorado
During WWII, she was inspired to write
. Every morning when Mary left home at with her boys; a woman would emerge from
the door of the apartment house and go in the opposite direction, to the bus to
go downtown to work...she didn't know the woman, but she heard the woman was a
widow with a son who was a bombardier in the Pacific. One day, Mary heard the son was lost. Harvey
A week or so went by and Mary saw the woman. She moved slower now, and Mary was haunted by her. A question began to haunt her: Could she ever think of anything to make that woman laugh again?
opened on Broadway Harvey November 1, 1944. It was an instant sensation. War-weary audiences, many of whom had lost
someone on the front, laughed with abandon again.
Most of this information can be found in the booklet presented to people at the theatre.
Now, for my take on this play is that it is truly a drama and not a comedy in any way, although there are funny moments. It made me think of my favorite uncle, Uncle Ray, when he came home from WWII. He just wanted to be happy, and he never wanted to talk about the war. I'm sure Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome had been a term back then; he had it. Elwood P. Dowd reminded me of Uncle Ray, and I loved Elwood for reminding me of my favorite uncle.
To me, Harvey, demands you to think about the seriousness of this play. It's not just about an invisible rabbit. It's is about deciding to be happy.
Everyone have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.
Sandra K. Marshallhttp://www.skaymarshall.com