One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ends
Kanata Theatre's season

Kanata Theatre brings down the curtain on its 39th season with the stage adaptation of one of the seminal novels of the 1960s.

First published in 1962, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest tells the story of Randle P. McMurphy who gets himself transferred from a prison work farm to the hosĀ­pital, thinking it will be an easy way to serve out his sentence. He has a fine time hustling the patients, until he realizes that he is more than a diversion for them; he gives them the lives they are too afraid to live for themselves.

Playwright Dale Wasserman made a stage adaptation of the novel which ran briefly on Broadway in late 1963. It starred Kirk Douglas as McMurphy and Gene Wilder as Billy Bibbit. Kirk Douglas retained the rights to make a movie version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for a decade. Eventually, he gave the rights to his son Michael Douglas, who produced the movie in 1975.

Dale Wasserman's stage adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel is a witty, touching and enduring example of an individual's battle not to succumb to the forces of a dehumanizing, demoralizing society. Narrated by Indian "Chief" Bromden, the story focuses on the antics of gleefully rebellious McMurphy. McMurphy also presents a discipline problem and chalĀ­lenge to the authority of Nurse Ratched, who exercises near-total power over those in her care, including her subordinates.

Nicholson has said that he was inspired to want to do this role by his participation as a young man in a production of The Curious Savage, a play also set in a mental institution. Kanata Theatre produced The Curious Savage several years ago.

Kanata Theatre's production of this boisterous satire contains mature subject matter and strong language. It is not suitable for children.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest directed by Shelagh Mills, runs in the Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Way, Kanata, Tuesday to Saturday from May 20 to 30. There are no performances Sundays and Mondays.

The playhouse is fully accessible and there is ample free parking. Curtain is at 8 p.m. sharp. Tickets are $15. The box office number is 613-831-4435. You may obtain information at


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest last play of
Kanata Theatre's season

by Clare Flockton

Kanata Theatre has had an extremely entertaining and exceptionally rewarding 39th season. It opened its season with Ruth and Augustus Goetz's The Heiress, which was a wonderful play that showcased some of the most elaborate costumes seen on the Ron Maslin stage.

The Long Weekend, written by Norm Foster, then brought the house down with fits of laughter. Tom Stoppard's adaptation of The Seagull displayed a set that was simply out of this world.

Then there was Martin Sterling's Framed!, which was full of twists and turns.

Now we have the final production of the 39th season, Dale Wasserman's
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, directed by Shelagh Mills.

Kanata Theatre will be showing how an amateur theatre company can really be of professional caliber.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is an edgy play set in a psychiatric institution in the 1960's. Inmate Randle P. McMurphy is a small time criminal who decides that a stint in a mental hospital would be a much easier sentence to carry out than having to do his time in jail.

McMurphy has an utter lack of respect for the rules and regulations that keep the hospital functioning on a day to day basis.
McMurphy's bad habits, such as gambling, fighting and trouble-making earn him fast friendships with his fellow inmates who suffer from varying degrees of mental disorders, but quickly set him in opposition with the dictatorial Nurse Ratched.

This play is a powerful production that will take the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

The inmates evoke such a wide range because most of them have admitted themselves into the hospital because they feel life on the outside is just too much to handle and they crave the rigidity and the rules that govern the institution. This is a humorous, sensitive and
thought provoking play that is definitely a great one to end the 39th season with.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest runs from May 20 to 31 with black out days on Sunday and Monday. Tickets are $15 and curtain is at 8 p.m. sharp.

Advance tickets can be purchased starting May 6 from the box office located at 1 Ron Maslin Way, Kanata.

Box-office hours are 5 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday then 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.