The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South inmates run asylum in Cuckoo’s Nest play

By Mona Lisa Tucker/reporter

South Campus’ drama program will present One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, adapted by Dale Wasserman and based on the novel by Ken Kesey, Nov. 18-20.

The play focuses on the antics of mental patient Randle McMurphy, played by South student Wesley Harris, and his fellow patients. McMurphy, a criminal who faked insanity to escape prison, is set against a controlling nurse in charge of the ward.

“I haven’t made sense to my brother or sister in quite some time,” Harris said. “It’s a trip playing this part.”

Adjunct drama instructor and play director Richard Haratine said McMurphy is the wild card but not the perfect example to represent how people question authority.

Haratine said he chose this play because of its powerful and complicated subject matter.

South student Justin Grimes portrays Billy Bibbit, who is suicidal and slits his wrist.

Grimes said it’s fun to do Billy’s stutter and he sometimes starts stuttering himself. He also enjoys playing the part of a sad and depressed character.

“I want [the audience] to get that everyone has a story and that we’re not crazy, and he has reasons to be crazy,” Grimes said. “And I really want them to fall in love with Billy because he is actually a tragic character if you know the story and what happens to him.”

Student Jacob Couch portrays Chief Bromden, also known as Chief Broom. Half-Native American, he pretends to be catatonic but just keeps his mouth shut while observing everything that’s happening.

“At the beginning of the show, I’m just afraid of pretty much rejoining society,” Couch said. ”Then our main character comes in, and I start to feel comfortable with people again. I slowly start to come out of my shell, my catatonic shell.”

Haratine said people can address authority in ways unlike McMurphy’s.

“We can question authority but not in disrespectful ways,” he said.

Haratine said he wants the questions being bounced around on stage to be highlighted and the audience to gain a sense of compassion for the mentally ill. He also wants people to choose who they follow and know why.

“It’s exciting to approach the theater as a team just like in sports, knowing where the ball is,” he said.

Haratine said he wants the audience to be impacted by the strong ensemble and performance by this group.

“It’s my hope that these actors learn how to tell great stories and that they learn to enjoy telling great stories and that the audience will be inspired by the telling of these great stories,” he said.

Performances start at 7:30 p.m. No reservations are necessary, but no one will be seated after the show begins.

Performances are free for all TCC students, faculty and staff, $3 for other students and senior citizens and $6 for the general public.

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