One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
by, Jamie Scheinrock, Student Contributor and Suzette Elizondo, Culture Editor
Beginning March 15, the College of the Desert’s Dramatic Arts program will be performing Dale Wasserman‘s “One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest” for its Spring Production, located in Pollack’s Theater. Showtime’s are Friday and Saturday, March 15, 16, 22, and 23 from 7:00-9:30 p.m. and Sundays March 17 and 24 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 for the general public and $13 for students and seniors.
When Director Tres Dean was asked why this was the first time the play has been done on campus he replied “ They attempted to produce it once before. Legend has it that the show was so controversial back in the 1970’s, the production was shut down due to the college’s fear of public backlash. If that is true…even more reason to do it now.”
The plot of the play is about a man, Randle P. McMurphy, who contrives to serve a short sentence in a mental institution rather than a state prison. This character has been portrayed by famous and legendary actors Jack Nicholson, on the big screen and Kirk Douglas on Broadway. This production is the winner of the 2001 Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony recipient for Outstanding Revival.
“The cast is an eccentric mix of students with a wide variety of theatrical backgrounds. Every actor in the cast has their own unique look, personality, and collection of quirks; which make them all wonderfully unique and perfect for this production,” says Dean.
Shauna Holmes, a DJ from our very own KCOD Radio station on campus, recently conducted an interview with a few members of the cast on March 12, 2013. Shawn Abramowitz, Johnny Bolth, Anthony Gomez, Jennifer Kiehl and local resident performer Gazpar Ascencio took some time out of their busy schedules to offer some insight about the play, how they prepped for their roles, pre-show rituals and which night of performance they enjoy the most.
Shawn Abramowitz, who will be playing Randle P. McMurphey, gave some food for thought regarding his character and life, “there’s always something to be won in every game.” Through his character, Abramowitz “tries to instill hope in a lot of different situations” in this production of the Cuckoo’s nest.
As a whole, each of the cast members want to create their “own character” regardless of the actors that have played the roles in previous productions of the work. They brought attention to the fact that a live performance “brings out missing moments of characters” verses watching a movie version of the theatrical piece.
You can listen to the interview on Mixcloud.com by searching “COD Theatre Arts Cuckoo Cast Interview.”
Tickets to the show can be purchased online at www.ticketleap.collegeofthedesert.com or in advance at the COD Bookstore. For more information please call the Performing Arts Hotline at 760-773-2565.