Great Bend Community Theatre will bring the comedy-drama “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” to the Crest Theater stage next week. Director Ken Harton says the play, based on the internationally best-selling novel of the same name, is a change of pace from lighter comedies GBCT has produced of late, such as “Love, Sex and the IRS,” which he directed in 2017.
“Cuckoo’s Nest” takes place in the ward of a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. A new patient, Randle McMurphy, arrives and quickly disrupts the routine carefully controlled by the steely head nurse, Nurse Ratched. McMurphy rallies the other patients and creates a battle of wills between the patients and the hospital staff.
In the book, the story is narrated by a patient, “Chief” Bromden, played here by Marcus Mull, who presents himself as deaf and mute. He tells the audience the story is “the truth, even if it didn’t happen.”
The show contains explicit language and adult situations and is not suggested for children.
The novel by Ken Kesey is listed as one of the defining works of the 1960s and was made into a major motion picture starring Jack Nicholson in 1975. Bonnie Leroy, associate director for the GBCT production, said the stage version is more faithful to the original novel.
It’s also the largest cast that Harton has ever directed, with 16 actors.
“It’s been a challenge,” he said, adding the cast has been hard at work despite struggles with illness and inclement weather.
“They’re going to make this a very good production that they can be proud of and that GBCT can be proud of,” he said.
Most of the cast members are GBCT veterans, including K.B. Bell as Randle McMurphy and Karen Kline-Martin at Nurse Ratched. Troy Smith from Larned joins the cast in his first GBCT production.
Other cast members are Cathy Anderson, Grady Bolding, Chris Curtright, Jessie DeCarolis, Terra DeCarolis, Charlie Dixon, Erin Ferguson, Jeff Gibson, Demetrius T. Johnson Jr., Paul Martin, Rob Munden and John Sturn. Luke Abbott assists with lights and sound.
If you want to go
Great Bend Community Theatre will present “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” a dramatic comedy, Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 13-16 at the Crest Theater.
Performances will be Feb. 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance online at www.gbct.net or at the box office beginning one hour prior to each performance.
A reception with hors d’oeuvres and wine and beer will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 15. Tickets for the reception may be purchased in advance during box office hours or at the door for $10.
For questions regarding tickets, contact Great Bend Community Theatre by calling 620-792-4228 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.