A Behind the Scenes Interview with Anna Milford, Stage Manager for Harvey!

The New Covenant theater department is proud to present HARVEY! Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and can be purchased in the school office. There will be four shows this year, May 3rd through 5th at 7:00 each evening and 1:00 Friday afternoon.

For anyone who has never seen Mary Chase’s play, or the 1950 cinematic adaptation, the light-hearted, feel-good story will be a fresh retrospective of a simpler time. For those familiar with the story, the show will offer a pleasant re-acquaintance with lovable characters such as kindly Elwood P. Dowd, eccentric sister Veta, and the 6ft. tall pooka himself, Harvey.

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To those of us sitting in the audience, the show will seem to happen by itself, just as it should be in good story-telling. Of course, everyone knows that’s not really the case. If the house lights were on and that backstage curtain was pulled back, we would see a choreographed beehive of activity. From managing the prop table to cueing actors, a lot more goes on behind the scenes than the audience is meant to be aware of during the show.

No one knows that dimly-lit world better than a Stage Manager. The Cavalier Chronicle chatted with Harvey’s stage manager Anna Milford to get a little perspective of life behind the scenes. Anna served as assistant stage manager during NCS’s production of Death By Design, and last year she took over the role of stage manager for the production of Wait Until Dark. Clearly, this role is one she enjoys. We asked Anna what she enjoys most, she says it’s the rehearsals. She loves to see the show develop and change over time, she told us. Part of that change and development is facilitated by the actors themselves. Anna thinks this element will be delightful to the audience. “A lot of our audience knows the cast members so I think they will enjoy seeing their friends portraying these unusual characters.” Anna says that her favorite of these unusual characters is Veta Simmons, sister of the male lead character, portrayed by Caroline Lamb. Anna says this character adds plenty Harvey: Behind the Scenes of humor and warmth to the story. Anna appreciates Veta’s dedication to her family throughout the story.

And Anna knows a thing or two about dedication. During the weeks leading up to the show, Anna dutifully communicates with the cast and designers, letting everyone know what’s needed and what’s expected of them. “The hardest part about running a show is always communication,” she says. “Sometimes it’s a struggle to get everyone on the same page and knowing what they’re supposed to be doing.” Of course, Anna feels it’s all worth it. When we asked her what she might say to any student considering getting involved in future products, she said: “…go for it! It is so much fun to get to see your fellow classmates act and there are so many great memories made throughout the rehearsal process. There are also many opportunities for lots of laughs.”

So be sure to get your tickets today to support Anna, the rest of the crew and the hard working actors!