"Ken Kesey would like this cast"
proclaims Director Peggy Dubey
Most people know One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as the 1975 movie that swept the Academy Awards and rocketed Jack Nicholson to stardom. This is not the movie.
The 1963 script was written by Dale Wasserman while Ken Kesey’s novel was still fresh in the public mind and eye. Kesey’s original story was written from the Chief’s point of view, and the play keeps true to that, opening the show with the Chief and making him a pivotal character throughout both acts.
We had an amazing turnout for auditions both days and by the last half hour of the second day it was a casual and fun atmosphere, lots of laughs. Then Curtis Davis of Coulee Dam quietly slid into the back row and my assistant Carol Boyce gave me his paperwork. I spoke with Curtis briefly, then asked him to go up and read for the Chief.
Curtis mounted the stage amid a muted din of actors laughing and talking to each other. Then he looked to the heavens and began to speak to his dead Papa. A hush fell over the crowd. Complete silence. And I knew we had our Chief.
The rest of the cast also fell into place. Clint Pozzi plays R. P. McMurphy, the fun loving, rule breaking, fight starting, womanizing, gambling fool who thinks a trip to the mental ward will be just the ticket to avoid the drudgery of weeding peas on the work farm. He challenges ward policy at every turn. To challenge ward policy is to challenge Nurse Ratched, and he makes that his mission in life. (Clint played Fire Chief Beatty last year for me in Fahrenheit 451.) He is a very strong actor and I knew he could do justice to this role but I wasn’t sure he had the look I wanted for McMurphy. He showed up to auditions with a whole new look that was just right.
Nurse Ratched. I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit I thought of Joanne Bracht first when I considered doing this play. Nurse Ratched (like Joanne) is a force to be reckoned with and McMurphy thinks her day of reckoning has arrived. She’s had the upper hand on this ward for 25 years and is not about to roll over for some macho hustler who would feign psychosis just to get out of working off his prison sentence.
This show is a roller coaster of emotions from laughter to tears, with wonder and shock as middle ground. The remainder of the cast varies from theater veterans to virgins. We have Bob Jasman as Dr Spivey ‘that little fart of a doctor’, and Randy Brooks as the liquor loving night aide. Ward mental patients are played by Don Long, Darryl Pheasant, Jeff Ames, Justin Rowland, Zach Knudsen and Antonio Aguilar. They are almost too convincing...it gives one pause for thought.
Dalila Shawhan and Patty Jardine shake things up with a midnight visit to party with the boys on the ward. The cast is rounded out by Nurse Ratched’s “Enforcers.” Margaret Angell as Aide Williams, Holly Petersen as Nurse Flinn and Lui Navarro as our friendly Shock Shop technician.
“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” is directed by Peggy Dubey, with Carol Boyce as Assistant Director. Opening on the Masquers stage on April 25, 2014, it will run four consecutive weekends with 7:30 p.m. performances each Friday and Saturday night and 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays, including on Mother’s Day (May 11) and closing on May 18. For more information contact Masquers at (509) 246-2611)
Opening night April 25 special: All Seats $10
Students & Seniors $13
Students & Seniors $10
Call the box office at (509) 246-2611