‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’: Classic play inspired by novelist’s work in psych ward

May 18, 2019 GMT

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” by Dale Wasserman, is onstage at The Ridgefield Theater Barn, Friday, May 31through Saturday, June 22.

Years before Jack Nicholson starred in the iconic 1975 film, it was a Tony-winning play, a dark drama exploring institutionalism and the celebration of humanity, Theater Barn says. The play was based on a novel by Ken Kesey, who attended Stanford University.

While at Stanford, according to biography.com, Kesey volunteered as a paid experimental subject in a study conducted by the U.S. Army, in which he was given mind-altering drugs and asked to report on their effects.


He also worked as an attendant in a hospital’s psychiatric ward, the website says. Those experiences served as the basis for his 1962 novel, “which examined the abuses of the system against the individual.”

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“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” will be directed in Ridgefield by Kevin Sosbe, and is recommended for mature audiences only.

All shows are cabaret style and doors open one hour prior to curtain. You’re welcome to bring food and drinks to enjoy before the play and during intermission.

The Ridgefield Playhouse, 37 Halpin Lane, Friday, May 31 - Saturday, June 22. Friday, Saturday 8 p.m. Sunday, June 9 and 16, 5 p.m. $35 adults, $28 students, seniors and veterans. 203-431-9850