BELFAST – The Belfast Maskers opens its 35th season with an indoor production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Dale Wasserman, based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey, and directed by Artistic Director Meg Nickerson. The dramatic comedy explores the harshness of life in a 1960s mental institution with humor, candor and unforgettable characters. It runs March 10 through 20 at the Basil Burwell Community Theater, 17 Court St.

The plot centers on Randall McMurphy, a charming rogue who contrives to serve his short sentence for a petty crime in an airy mental institution rather than prison. He soon learns this was a serious mistake when he clashes with the head nurse, a fierce martinet named Nurse Ratched. McMurphy befriends the ward’s frightened psychiatric patients and empowers them in a series of rollicking revolts against Ratched’s authority. But his brash insubordination has its consequences. Many will remember the 1975 Oscar-winning movie version, starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher.

“I chose this play because it is a powerful theatrical experience, and it gives actors the chance to immerse themselves into complex characters,” said Nickerson, who previously directed  “Dearly Departed” and “On Golden Pond” for the Maskers. “We have had the rare experience of rehearsing on the marvelous period set for several months, designed by John Bielenberg and built by Brian Ross and Greg Marsanskis.”

Cory Burns appears as McMurphy, Katie Glessner as Nurse Rached and Peter Conant as Chief Bromden. Also in the cast are Mark Durbin, Dakota Wing, Erik Perkins, Tyler Johnstone, Tom Maycock, Brian Ross, Mike Rowe, Katey Stearns, Jared Nickerson, Jerry Sawyer, Jay Rosenberg , Latricia Saucier and Autumn Stupca.

Costumes were created by Linda Marie, lighting design by Jared Nickerson, sound design by Jay Rosenberg, light board operator is Patricia Saucier, sound board operator is Dominic Williams and Cassidy Small is production stage manager.

Show sponsors are First National Bank, Edward Jones, Bangor Savings Bank and Young’s Lobster Pound & Seafood Restaurant.

To ensure the safest indoor environment for theater patrons, actors and volunteers, the Belfast Maskers requires all audience members (age 5 and older) to show identification and proof of vaccination, proof of having had COVID within the last three months and more than 14 days previous, or proof of a negative COVID test. All patrons must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in the building.

Due to coarse language, adult situations and violence, this show is not recommended for children younger than 13. Parental discretion is advised.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” runs Thursdays through Saturdays, March 10, 11, 12, 18 and 19, at 7 p.m. and Sundays, March 13 and 20, at 2 p.m. General admission tickets are $15/adults and $12/students and seniors; available at belfastmaskers.com. For more information, call 207-370-2316 or email info@belfastmaskers.com.