On Stage: 'Park Your Car at Harvard Yard' through May 12 at South Carolina Repertory Co.

info@islandpacket.comApril 25, 2013 

Bill Gorman and Jan Haskell-Mohr star in the South Carolina Repertory Co. production of "Park Your Car in Harvard Yard."


    "Park Your Car in Harvard Yard," presented by South Carolina Repertory Company, will be performed at 8 p.m. April 30, May 1-11; 2 p.m. May 5 and 12 at 136 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island. Tickets are $30; $28 for senior citizens; $15 for students and active military. Details: 843-342-2057

The plot: Kathleen Hogan answers an ad in the Gloucester, Mass., paper for a housekeeper at the home of Jacob Brackish, a retired teacher. The play follows the relationship between the two -- which begins with great tension. Jacob knows he has only a few months to live and he chooses to stay in his lifetime home. Kathleen remembers Jacob as the meanest teacher in Gloucester High School.

Lead actors: Jan Haskell-Mohr of Hilton Head Island (Kathleen Hogan) and Bill Gorman of Binghamton, N.Y. (Jacob Brackish).

Director's take: The South Carolina Repertory Company presented this show in 1995. "It was very popular and we extended the run an extra week," says director Pat Haskell. "This show has a timeless message and it is beautifully written to present Jacob and Kathleen starting at animosity and, after a year's time, gaining strength, courage and knowledge. We see this happening in two acts (yes, there is an intermission) with smooth transitions from one scene to another.

"There is a continuous abundance of classical music (which many of our audience will recognize) throughout the play. Gorman ('Skull in Connemara,' 'Cocktail Hour,' 'Seafarer' and 'Golf with Alan Shepherd') and Haskell-Mohr ('Cocktail Hour,' 'Eleemosynary,' 'Almost Maine' and 'My Old Lady') are the actors who adroitly take us on the journey to understanding and compassion. Also, let us not forget Cocoa, the cat (a rescue animal) who has a small but audience-stealing appearance."

Behind the scenes: Playwright Israel Horovitz has expressed an interest in coming to see his play performed on Hilton Head Island as, "I am almost as keen about playing golf as I am about writing plays ...This is a recent development in my life, brought about by my son Oliver, who is an excellent golfer and has just published a best-selling book called 'An American Caddie in St. Andrews.'"

One last thing: A preview performance of "Park Your Car in Harvard Yard" will benefit Hilton Head Island Safe Harbour. The preview will be held at 8 p.m. April 29 at the theater. Hilton Head Island Safe Harbour is a nonprofit membership service organization that provides volunteer services to help elderly Hilton Head residents stay in their own homes as long as safely possible. Tickets are $24.

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