'Harvey' hops into Ojai

web 2 14 Harvey Jim H with glass
Photo by Alexander Schottky
Dr. Jim Halverson of Ojai plays Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey.”


A whimsical imaginary friend, a man with substance problems, a family who doesn’t understand and wish to lock away their delusional brother – all create the backdrop for the thought-provoking first of the 2020 productions by the Ojai Performing Arts Theater, “Harvey,” opening March 27 at Matilija Auditorium for two weekends.
OPAT Artistic Director Richard Camp continues to bring plays to Ojai that contain a timeless relevance. He has done this again as he directs "Harvey" with Director Craig Anderson. Working together in 2018 with “On Golden Pond,” the two have teamed again and cast a talented group of actors for this adaptation. 
"Craig Anderson and I are very excited to have found these dynamic actors to fill out the cast,” Camp said. “Each of them has the talent and creative drive to bring this American classic to new life in the compelling and vigorously spirited manner that we intend... and may even make you believe that invisible rabbits do exist!
“‘Harvey’ is not just a "little, lighthearted comedy," said Camp, “but one that has been compared to ‘Cuckoo's Nest’ in its handling of mental illness and alcoholism, without losing its delightful sense of humor. It won the Pulitzer Prize over Tennessee's ‘The Glass Menagerie’ in 1945 … quite an achievement.”
Cast members are:
Brittany Danyel Schottky as Myrtle Mae Simmons.
Lee Ann Manley as Veta Louise Simmons.
Jim Halverson as Elwood P. Dowd.
Susan Kelejian as Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet.
Angelica Smith as Ruth Kelly, R.N.
Alexander Schottky as Duane Wilson.
Michael Holden as Dr. Sanderson.
Paul Sulzman as Dr. Chumley.
Sindy McKay as Betty Chumley.
David Newcomer as Judge Gaffney.
Louis Graham as E. J. Lofgren.
The production will run weekends March 27 to 29, April 3 to 5, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. at Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, Ojai. This season, all tickets will be assigned seating so it’s best to order online to reserve seats. Opening night will have special VIP tickets that include a post-show, meet-the-actors reception. Tickets go on sale Monday, Feb. 17 at or call 805-646-5433.