ROUNDABOUT BLOG

2011-2012 Season

A Conversation with Jim Parsons

Posted on: May 15th, 2012 by Education @ Roundabout

 

Before rehearsals began, Education Dramaturg Ted Sod sat down with Actor Jim Parsons to discuss his role in Harvey.

Ted Sod: Can you tell us about yourself? Where were you born and educated? When did you decide to become an actor?

Jim Parsons: I was born in Houston, Texas and I lived there until I was about 27 or so. I went to undergrad at the University of Houston. I did a lot of theatre in Houston in addition to being at the university. Looking back, it’s fun to see how important that was to me. I learned a lot in class but I learned much more by having to get out there and perform. I was very fortunate. There is a Shakespeare festival that the university had an affiliation with and although it wouldn’t guarantee a part, it certainly guaranteed that the students would be involved. So I was a part of this Shakespeare festival as well as a children’s theatre festival. There was a company of actors and writers, really a company of misfits in a way that I had the opportunity to work with. We got to do all sorts of work, everything from Beckett to Guys and Dolls, so I had a wide and varied playground in Houston.

... Read More →


Related Categories:
2011-2012 Season, A Conversation with, Education @ Roundabout, Harvey, Upstage


16 Comments

About the Playwright: Mary Chase

Posted on: May 15th, 2012 by Education @ Roundabout

 

Harvey, the invisible rabbit at the center of Mary Chase’s Harvey, is a pooka from Celtic mythology, plopped into the middle of an American family’s struggle to fit into society. Chase, like many first-generation Americans, wove the folklore of her family’s homeland into tales set in her own time and place.

Mary Coyle Chase was born on February 25, 1906, in Denver, Colorado. Her mother, Mary McDonough, emigrated from Londenderry, Ireland at the age of sixteen, following four older brothers to Colorado’s gold rush. McDonough later married Frank Coyle. Chase was the last of their four children, born nine years after her nearest sibling. The Coyle family was poor but stable, making a life in the working class, immigrant neighborhoods of Denver.

Mary Chase

... Read More →


Related Categories:
2011-2012 Season, Education @ Roundabout, Harvey, Upstage


9 Comments

Magical Characters in Theatre

Posted on: May 15th, 2012 by Education @ Roundabout

 

Pooka. From old Celtic mythology. A fairy spirit in animal form.  Always very large. The pooka appears here and there, now and then, to this one and that one at his own caprice.  A wise but mischievous creature.  Very fond of rum-pots, crackpots…” (Wilson)

“Lord, what fools these mortals be” – Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This definition of a “pooka” read in the play brings to mind the kind of magical, mischievous characters from Shakespeare’s comedies: the fairies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream who use potions to manipulate young lovers, or the sprite Ariel who enchants the island castaways of The Tempest. Characters like Puck and Ariel are visible to an audience, but not to the mortal characters with whom they intervene, and this allows for hilarious comic situations. On a metaphorical level, they may represent irrational human forces—the intoxication of love or the delusionary influence of power. How might we understand the magical but invisible presence of the pooka Harvey?

... Read More →


Related Categories:
2011-2012 Season, Education @ Roundabout, Harvey, Upstage


1 Comment