Richard Marsh/Dearborn Press and Guide/December 1987
Director George Popovich opted to be daring with Henry Ford Community College’s production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” last weekend, going for a surrealistic presentation of the play, and it paid off. The result was a powerful production. Dale Wasserman (show playwright) and Ken Kesey (author of the book) would have been proud. The show depicts a nightmare society that destroys individuality and promotes conformity. It was one of the signature books and plays of the sixties. The show was not light entertainment: rather, it was heavy drama and theater at its best. Of course, Popovich did not pull off this feat of outstanding theater alone. Strong acting by the entire troupe gave the show the necessary punch.
Thomas Korte as Randle Patrick McMurphy, the new admission to the state mental hospital, did an excellent job of acting. Korte’s portrayal, however, was almost over-shadowed by the top-notch performances of his co-stars, particularly those of Gywen Chami as Nurse Ratched, Jim Bergstrom as Dale Harding and David Atkins as Chief Bromden. Other members of the hospital ward included Daniel Taylor as Billy Bibbit, Randal Kuzdak as Scanlon, Jim Shmina as Cheswick and Charles Saad as Martini.
The marvelous special effects really enhanced the show. The set, though not elaborate, was effective and served its purpose well.
This version of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was much closer to the book than was the film version. The play was seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, who had several solo interludes to express his thoughts.
1987 Page Award Winners
Best Non Musical: George Popovich
Best Special Effects: Dr. George Popovich
Best Supporting Actor – Non Musical: David Atkins
American College Theatre Festival
Evening of Scenes Winner
- Dale Harding: Jim Bergstrom
- Billy Bibbit: Daniel Taylor
- Scanlon: Randal Kuzdak
- Cheswick: Jim Shimina
- Martini: Charles Saad
- Chief Bromden: David Atkins
- Randle Patrick McMurphy: Thomas P. Korte
- Nurse Ratche: Gywen Chami
- Nurse Flinn: Cheri Cernan
- Dr. Spivey: Derek Kuntz, Ron Hutchins*
- Aide Warren: Andre Harris
- Aide Willaims: Ron Heady
- Aide Turkle: Derek Kuntz
- Candy Starr: Star Bledsoe
- Sandra: Shelly Raspbury