ABOUT THE SHOW
There are eight wonderful roles for women in this sentimental comedy about American life in a bygone era. On alternate Friday evenings, eight sisters meet to play bridge and gossip. The first act takes place in 1934; the second ten years later during a Halloween bridge party where each acts out her costume’s persona. The emotionally distraught youngest, who does a hilarious Salome belly dance, has just gotten out of a sanitarium and knows that she must cut the bonds to her smothering family and strike out on her own.
Martha (Mrs. Michael McDermitt) aged 54 in act one and 64 in act two
Mary (Margaret Donavan) aged 51 in act one and 61 in act two
Nora (Mrs. Lawrence Hiller) aged 48 in act one and 58 in act two
Connie (Mrs. David Emerson) aged 46 in act one and 56 in act two
Alice (Mrs. Walter Monahan) aged 44 in act one and 54 in act two
Ann (Mrs. John Conroy) aged 43 in act one and 53 in act two
Lil (Mrs. Peter Carmody) aged 40 in act one and 50 in act two
Betsy (Mrs. Daniel Bailey) aged 37 in act one and 47 in act two
Robert Foster (Photographer) aged 27
ABOUT THE SHOW
A charming rogue contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than in a prison. This, he learns, was a mistake. He clashes with the head nurse, a fierce martinet. He quickly takes over the yard and accomplishes what the medical profession has been unable to do for twelve years; he makes a presumed deaf and dumb Indian talk. He leads others out of introversion, stages a revolt so that they can see the World Series on television, and arranges a rollicking midnight party with liquor and chippies. For one offense, the head nurse has him submit to shock treatment. The party is too horrid for her and she forces him to submit to a final correction: a frontal lobotomy.
NOTE: There is a range of contentious themes explored within this play, including, but not limited to, profanity, sexuality, suicide, murder, and death.
CHIEF BROMDEN – (M, Patient) The huge, bull-muscled, son of an Indian Chief. He has been in the hospital for ten years, longer than any other patient in the ward. Bromden sees modern society as a huge, oppressive conglomeration that he calls the Combine, and the hospital as a place meant to fix people who do not conform.
AIDE WARREN & AIDE WILLIAMS – (M, Staff) The day time aides.
NURSE RATCHED – (F, Staff) The head of the hospital ward. She masks her humanity and femininity behind a stiff, patronizing façade. She weakens her patients through a psychologically manipulative program designed to destroy their self-esteem. Ratched’s emasculating, mechanical ways slowly drain all traces of humanity from her patients.
NURSE FLINN – (F, Staff) A vapid girl with apprehensive eyes. The wears a gold cross at her throat, a sign of her strict Catholic upbringing. She is fearful of the patients’ sexuality.
DALE HARDING – (M, Patient) College-educated with a sharp tongue. He is President of the Patients’ Council. Although he is married he is a homosexual. He has difficulty dealing with the overwhelming social prejudice against homosexuals, so he hides in the hospital voluntarily.
BILLY BIBBIT – (M, Patient) Shy and has a bad stutter. He seems younger than his age. Dominated by his mother, one of Nurse Ratched’s close friends. Billy is voluntarily in the hospital, as he is afraid of the outside world.
SCANLON – (M, Patient) Involuntarily committed to the hospital. He has fantasies of blowing things up.
CHESWICK – (M, Patient) Eager and quick to argue or fight. Aggressively defiant yet cringing. All talk, no action.
MARTINI – (M, Patient) A little Italian man who lives in a world of delusional hallucinations.
RUCKLY – (M, Patient) A Chronic patient. Was once curable, but was transformed into a Chronic due to a botched lobotomy.
RANDLE P. MCMURPHY – (M, Patient) A gambler, a con man, and a backroom boxer. Has a devilish grin and has a wide open extroverted air which is in harsh contrast to the environment of the ward. He serves as the dominant force challenging the establishment and the ultimate savior of the victimized patients.
DR. SPIVEY – (M, Staff) The administrator of the mental institution. He is a calm, mature, gray-haired doctor. He doubts that anything is wrong with McMurphy’s mind, but he defers to the opinion of Nurse Ratched.
AIDE TURKLE – (M, Staff) The nighttime orderly for Nurse Ratched’s ward. He is easygoing and kind.
CANDY STARR – (F, Other) A beautiful, carefree prostitute. She comes to the ward for a late-night party that McMurphy arranges
SANDRA – (F, Other) A prostitute who comes with Candy to the late-night party.