Friday, April 10, 2009

Cast tackles 'Cuckoo's Nest'

If he's crazy, what does that make you?

That's the question audience members will be attempting to answer after viewing Spencer Community Theatre's rendition of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey.

The story, which was popularized by the 1975 movie staring Jack Nicholson, takes place at a mental institution in the pacific northwest, upon the arrival of a strong-willed, free spirited man named R. P. McMurphy, who has been incarcerated in the institution due to his deranged behavior.

"He was working on a farm as part of a work program, and he got tired of working, so he feigned being crazy," director Curtis Dean said. "When he gets taken to the institution, he thinks it will be a vacation, but he soon finds out that he can't handle the oppressive atmosphere. He befriends the other patients, many of whom are there on their own accord, and starts to rebel against the strong-armed Nurse Ratched."

While Dean was familiar with the subject matter throughout "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," he knew immediately that he wanted to be the one to bring the SCT version to the stage.

I was really interested right away," he said. "It's been a long time since I've seen the movie, but I know we could tackle it well. I thought it would be a great play to be a part of."

And, Dean hasn't been disappointed.

"It's very funny," he said. "It's what I would call a 'dramedy.' It's a humorous look at various unhumorous situations. I think the audience will enjoy the performances they will see. I've been involved in a number of shows at SCT, and this is by far the most talented cast I've ever worked with. They're bringing the characters to life every night."

As the final main stage performance before SCT undergoes a major remodeling project, Dean encourages anyone and everyone to come out and enjoy the show.

"We want to go out with a bang," he said.

What: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
Where: Spencer Community Theatre, 518 First Ave., Spencer
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 17-Saturday, April 18; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23-Saturday, April 25
Cost: $14; $13 on April 18; $12.50 for ages 62 and over on April 23
Contact: (712) 262-7336

This article appeared in the April 11, 2009 edition of DISCOVER! Magazine.

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