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Cast Members Are Familiar With ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ Material

A unique production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” opens tonight at the Rogue Players and continues through Dec. 16.

Director Frank Sullivan said some of the 20 cast members have been either employees or clients of the mental health system, which gives them “an understanding and perspective of mental health issues.”

Also, Chief Bromden will be played by Richard Sprague, a Native American advocate for people with mental illness.

The Rogue Players is a grass-roots community theater that stages its plays in North Central Community Center’s Mason Auditorium, at 1603 N. Belt. For this production, Sullivan says the auditorium will be transformed into the Brookside Mental Ward.

“I want the audience to believe they are on a mental health ward,” said Sullivan.

This Dale Wasserman adaptation is based on the Ken Kesey novel of the same name about a mental patient-con artist named McMurphy who challenges the authority of Nurse Ratched.

It was an Oscar-winning movie in 1975, starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher.

In this production, Troy Burke gets the McMurphy role.

The show opens tonight and continues Saturday, Sunday, Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-16. All shows are at 8 p.m. except the Sunday performance, which is a 2 p.m. matinee.

General admission tickets are $8, $6 for seniors and students. Call 327-9907 for information.


The Interplayers Ensemble’s Concert Reading Series continues on Sunday at 7 p.m. with “Heartbreak,” a comedy by Jack Heifner.

This play is about four friends who gather to sort out “the truth” following the death of their novelist friend Jason. It is a billed as a “brilliantly crafted examination of friendship, love, commitment” in the era of AIDS.

The play was first read at the “The Gathering at Bigfork” and then went on to win five Drama-Logue Awards in Los Angeles.

Heifner is best-known for “Vanities,” which was one of the longest-running plays in off-Broadway history.

The Concert Reading Series features Interplayers actors reading from scripts.

Tickets are $5, $4 for season-ticket holders with a coupon. For reservations, call 455-PLAY.

“The Secret Garden”

The Unicorn Theatre in Sandpoint opens with the Broadway version of “The Secret Garden” at 7:30 tonight at the Panida Theater.

Amy Wolfe and David Gunter play the lead roles.

The show continues Saturday and Dec. 8-9, 13 and Dec. 15-16. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9, $7 for students ages 12-18 and seniors, $5 for children. They’re available in Sandpoint at Eve’s Leaves, Java Adagio or at the door.

, DataTimes