BELFAST – The Belfast Maskers next production, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Dale Wasserman, will be directed by Artistic Director Meg Nickerson. Based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey, it was first adapted as a Broadway play starring Kirk Douglas and then in 1975, the movie version swept five Academy-Awards categories for Best Picture, Director, Actor (Jack Nicholson), Actress (Louise Fletcher) and Screenplay.

The play was originally set to open in October 2020, but was postponed twice due to COVID. “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” now opens March 10. This dramatic comedy is about hope, friendship, and the eternal human desire to control one’s own destiny. The protagonist is a charming rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in a mental institution rather going to prison. There he clashes with the iron-willed head nurse as he rebels against her cruel oppression of the frightened patients in the psychiatric ward. Show sponsors are First National Bank, Edward Jones, Bangor Savings Bank and Young’s Lobster Pound & Seafood Restaurant.

Nickerson said, “Our ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ has an amazing cast of some familiar actors and some new faces never seen on our stage before. It is an exciting play, full of humor and drama, with characters that audiences love or love to hate, but it won’t fail to move you.”

Now in rehearsal, the cast features Cory Burns as Randle McMurphy, Katie Glessner as Nurse Rached and Peter Conant as Chief Bromden. The psychiatric patients will be played by Mark Durbin (Harding), Dakota Wing (Billy), Erik Perkins (Cheswick), Tyler Johnstone (Martini), Tom Maycock (Scanlon), and Brian Ross (Ruckly). The hospital staff includes actors Mike Rowe (Dr. Spivey), Katey Stearns (Nurse Flynn), and as hospital aides, Jared Nickerson (Williams), Jerry Sawyer (Warren) and Jay Rosenberg (Turkle). Two carefree prostitutes are played by Latricia Saucier (Sandra) and Autumn Stupca (Candy).

Cassidy Small is production stage manager, set design is by John Bielenberg, tech director is Brian Ross, lighting design is by Jared Nickerson, sound design is by Jay Rosenberg, the light board operator is Patricia Saucier, sound board operation is by Josef Balla, and costumes are by Linda Marie.

Due to coarse language, adult situations, and violence, this show is not recommended for children under the age of 13. Parental discretion is advised. Audience members must show proof of vaccination or proof of having had COVID within the last three months and more than 14 days previous. Audience members must also wear a mask while in Basil Burwell Community Theater, 17 Court St. For more information, call 207-322-5557 or email info@belfastmaskers.com. Tickets are $15/$10 and available at belfastmaskers.com/events.

The Belfast Maskers cast rehearses “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” Photo by Jeffrey Mabee