CHT to open ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’
CHURCH HILL — Church Hill Theatre will open its production of the drama “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on Friday, Sept. 9.
The play will run through Sept. 25, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Directed by Michael Whitehill, the 1963 play written by Dale Wasserman is based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey. The 1975 film adaptation won five Academy Awards, including best picture, director, actor and actress.
Kesey gained early experience with psychoactive drugs as a night aide at a VA hospital studying the effects of LSD, mescaline and other drugs. Through discussions with the patients, Kesey concluded many were not insane, just maladapted to life in a conventional world that stressed conformity and obedience to societal norms.
In the CHT production, Howard Mesick plays Randle Patrick McMurphy, a rough-and-tumble con man who accepts a mental diagnosis because he thinks a mental hospital will be easier than prison. Felicia Tuttle plays his nemesis, Nurse Ratched, the domineering and manipulative head of the ward.
Other patients are Chief Bromden, a near-catatonic long-term resident, played by Patrick Fee; president of the Patient’s Council Dale Harding, played by John Perkinson; Billy Bibbitt, played by Talley Wilford; Charles Atkins Cheswick III, played by Nic Carter; Frank Scanlon, played by Tom Dorman; Anthony Martini, played by Wade Garrett; and Ruckly, played by Bruce Jones.
Hospital staff members are Dr. Spivey, played by Richard Smith; Nurse Flinn, played by Nina Sharp; and aides Williams, Warren and Turkel, played by Justin K. Butler, Stefan Tisdale and Ray Randall.
Liz Clarke and Emily Chiras play Candy and Sandy, who make a short but crucial visit to the ward.
The production team consists of Kathy Jones, assistant to the director; Sylvia S. Maloney, producer; and Christine Kinlock, dramaturg.
Shannon Whitaker heads the technical crew as stage manager. Doug Kaufmann designed the lighting and sound, and Brian Draper served as scenic artist. Whitehill took responsibility for set design, construction and costumes.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for CHT members and $10 for students. Two-forone opening-night tickets are available with reservation by phone. Call the box office at 410-556-6003 or visit the website www.churchhilltheatre.org for details and reservations.
Howard Mesick, left, and Patrick Fee appear in a scene from Church Hill Theatre’s production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”