• T.M. O’Shaughnessy

The Hudson Players Club presents One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


PHOTO BY VALERIE PROVOST

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest will run from April 4 to 14. Hudson Players Club actors are (from left): Alan Heillig, David Bâby, JF Samson, Joe Dineen, David Anderson, and Kyle Shillibeer.

One of the most well-known stories in modern literature is coming to the stage soon when the Hudson Players Club opens their upcoming production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on April 4.

Famous as a novel by Ken Kesey, and even more celebrated as a movie with Jack Nicholson, this story of the patients of a psychiatric hospital and their nurse, the infamous Nurse Ratched, is tough and compelling and has the play’s producer (and Hudson Players Club president) Elizabeth Harwood inspired.

“We knew that the subject matter of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest would be on the darker side,” said Harwood. “But its compelling subject matter – mental health issues – is so relevant. That’s one of the main reasons we chose it. Of course, we were also very excited by the chance to give our amazing actors something to really sink their teeth into.”

Director Donna Byrne echoed Harwood’s sentiments and said that the actors (and there are many with fully 16 characters onstage at times) have simply taken the ball and run with it.

“I love this story, and the subject matter of mental health issues that the play deals with feels particularly relevant today,” said Byrne. “I wanted, as a director, to make sure these characters were played with total dignity and respect.

“These are challenging roles for the actors, and we’ve been working hard on character development – things like each actor writing for themselves a back story for their character. I’m so impressed with the actors and their commitment. They have really risen to the occasion.”

In the large cast are several actors familiar to Hudson audiences, among them David Anderson who plays Randle McMurphy, Lisa Vindasius as Nurse Ratched, Joe Dineen as Dale Harding, and an actor who is perhaps less familiar to the scene is Nick Fontaine who will take on the role of Chief Bromden.

PHOTO BY VALERIE PROVOST

Simon Côté, Roxane Marin, Lisa Vindasias, Dan Wheeler, and Marc Roy are part of the cast of the landmark 1975 movie about patients in a psychiatric hospital and their controlling nurse.

“Nick Fontaine will be new to Hudson audiences,” said Byrne. “He is a talented actor, has an indigenous background, and is simply doing a great job.”

Byrne said she knows One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest can be seen as dark.

“But there’s a lot of joy and laughter in this story, and touching moments. Everybody evolves and it’s riveting to watch. I hope people will have a lot to think about by the end.”

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Adapted for Stage/Playwright by Dale Wasserman) will run at Hudson Village Theatre, 28 Wharf Road, Hudson, from April 4 to April 14. Showtimes: 8 p.m.; Saturday/Sunday matinees. Tickets are $25 regular admission; $22 for students and seniors; and group rates for 20 people or more are available. Go to hudsonplayersclub.ca for the full schedule of performances and to order tickets online, or call the Hudson Players Club Box Office at (438) 923-6828.

Founded in 1948, the Hudson Players Club is the longest running English community theatre group in Canada. For more information, go to their website at hudsonplayersclub.ca

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