Pulling Harvey Out of Her Hat: The Amazing Story of Mary Coyle Chase

Pulling Harvey Out of Her Hat: The Amazing Story of Mary Coyle Chase

by Mimi Pockross


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Talk about working from home. . . . Pulling Harvey Out of Her Hat chronicles the story of how Mary Chase-a housewife with three children from a working-class Irish community in Denver, Colorado-became a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright for Harvey, a Broadway comedy about a gentle soul and his invisible six-foot-and-one-half-inch-tall rabbit friend. This entertaining and inspiring account traces how Chase achieved her dream of becoming a famous playwright while remaining in Denver-where she worked for the Rocky Mountain News, married an editor, and raised a family.

Pulling Harvey Out of Her Hat includes many vignettes and unforgettable stories about the theater industry. It brings to life the history of Franklin Roosevelt's Federal Theatre Project; provides readers with an insider's view of the Broadway scene in the 1940s; and highlights the importance of theater personalities, including Brock Pemberton (Harvey's producer), Antoinette Perry (Harvey's director and namesake for the Tony Awards), and Frank Fay and Jimmy Stewart (actors who played Elwood Dowd, the amiable, slightly tipsy gentleman lead character).

The author of fourteen plays, three screenplays, and two award-winning children's books, Mary Chase created Harvey to counter sadness during the height of World War II. It would win the 1945 Pulitzer Prize (beating out Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie) and remain to this day one of the most beloved and underappreciated works of the twentieth century.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538131688
Publisher: Limelight Editions
Publication date: 10/08/2020
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mimi Pockross is an award-winning freelance writer who specializes in writing about the arts, education, and family. She has written articles for many local and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Heritage, and The Denver Post. Like Mary Chase, she is a wife, mother, and grandmother who also writes, and like Mary Chase, she is a longtime resident of Colorado.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Her Life Changed Forever

Act I. Harvey Begins

One. The Coyles and the McDonoughs
Two. Li'l Mary
Three. The Lure of the Theater
Four. Leaving the Nest
Five. The Raging Reporter
Six. She Meets Her Man
Seven. The Housewife

Act II. Mary Chase, Playwright

Eight. The Federal Theatre Project
Nine. The Broadway Flop
Ten. Time to Regroup
Eleven. The Pooka
Twelve. Back to Broadway
Thirteen. It's a Hit
Fourteen. A New Reality
Fifteen. The Pulitzer Prize
Sixteen. Hollywood

Act III. After Harvey

Seventeen. Settling Down
Eighteen. New Beginnings
Nineteen. Television
Twenty. Ladies First
Twenty-One. Professor Mary
Twenty-Two. Ageless Harvey
Twenty-Three. Harvey, the Musical
Twenty-Four. The Curtain Falls
Twenty-Five. The Final Review


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