CPP's 'Cuckoo's Nest' opens tonight

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:18 PM

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 11-12 and 18-19; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.

The play is a satire based on a 1962 novel by the same name by beat generation author Ken Keysey. It became a Broadway play in 1963, and in 1975 a feature film directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher. The film swept all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Actor in a Lead Role, Director and Screenplay) for the year.

Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital in the late 1950s, the play centers on Randle P. McMurphy, a charming rogue who hopes to serve a short sentence in a mental institution, rather than prison. He clashes with a fierce head nurse, helps a (presumably) mute man speak, and stages a revolt so the patients can watch the World Series on television.

The characters in the play are based on real people Kesey met while working at a Veterans Administration hospital. As research for the novel, he worked the graveyard shift in the psychiatric ward and subjected himself to shock treatment. 

The CPP production contains vulgarity and language, and is not recommended for audience members younger than 16.

Performances are at Lakeshore Middle School, 900 Cutler St., Grand Haven. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 616-850-6566; or at Hair Creations Studio, 222 W. Savidge, Spring Lake.

The play is directed by Trudi Kerkstra. Natalie Carmolli is assistant director and Barb DeVries is producer.

Members of the CPP cast are Diane VanWesep, Missy Widener, Tim Hall, Jim Sage, Lawrence Gilbert, William Stauter, Bruce Baker, Chaz Bratton, Dan Kitchka, Kevin Prince, Andrew Kitchka, Lucas Roetter, Steve Dzwonkowski, Gene Hyrns, Peter Drost, Robin Willi and Caitlin Hegenbart.

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