Foothills Community Players presents Harvey by Mary Chase
Foothills Community Players presents Harvey by Mary Chase

I’ve been helping the Foothills Community Players with their production of Harvey. You know, that old Jimmy Stewart movie? Well, Harvey was a play first.

I helped design and build the set. The stage at The Capitol Theater presented some significant technical challenges for the two set play. With no flyspace and very limited room in the wings, basically we were left with both sets having to remain on stage the entire show. Because the space is usually a music venue, the lighting options are limited to full stage lighting, so we couldn’t split the stage into sides with a set on each. Building a turntable would have been an excellent solution for the narrow and deep stage, but seemed beyond our budget and time constraints. The set designer, Kevin Grigsby, solved these problems by incorporating two wagons into the design. Unfortunately, once we had exact measurements of the stage and noted a standpipe and curtain rigging inside the proscenium wall, we realized the two wagons solution would not fit. The design was revised to include additional hinged flats on one wagon.

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Of course, no plan survives contact with the enemy (the stage and time in this case) and we adjusted the placement of some elements on the fly as we constructed. But, the finished set is very similar to the initial models. I think it’s not a perfect set, but it’s functional. The director, Nicci Williamson, rallied the crew and cast to get the scene change under 2 minutes. It’s pretty fun to watch the change, too. The whole library just folds up and disappears into a wall of the hospital.

Hopefully, the FCP staff photog, Everett, will send me some photos of the finished set I can post. 😉

In a future post I’ll cover the old computer tools I used to create the models of the design and the plans for build.

4 thoughts on “Harvey

  1. Again, good work, Matt. It was a pleasure working with you on this set. You’re flexibility and openness to suggestion made the build a lot less stressful than it could have been, if your approach had been too “anal!” Thanks again for your work.

  2. Matt,
    You are to funny, besides imaginative…
    i love it,

    PSer : may i suggest buying a little 300 hd camera…
    24 frames a sec. nearly all hd…
    you would have som wow fotos…

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