CHT to open ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment -

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.

PHOTO BY STEVEN G. ATKINSON

Howard Mesick, left, and Pa­trick Fee ap­pear in a scene from Church Hill The­atre’s pro­duc­tion of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

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