ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, opens at the Village Players’ Playhouse on Nov. 4.

Village Players’  drama, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, the second show of its 89th season, is a tribute to the famous theater maxim, “The show must go on.”


Donna Hansen stepped into the large and important role of Nurse Ratched when the originally cast actor fell ill.  Hansen is an experienced actor who had auditioned for the part.  Director Bev Dickinson says that although she did not originally cast Donna, “She was a top contender during auditions.  I very much appreciated her natural delivery, etc.  I’m very much impressed by her ability to ‘hit the ground running,’ and she’s not at all behind at this point in the show.”


Hansen, a Royal Oak resident, admits that it was not easy to catch up with the pivotal role of the head nurse at an early 1960’s mental hospital.  She credits her fellow cast members and Director Dickinson with helping enormously in easing her into the role.  Although Nurse Ratched, is often seen as an iconic villainess, Hansen sees her as an “unintentional villain.  Her world is being challenged by the new patient, McMurphy.”


Playing the challenging McMurphy is Scott Welborn, who says, “McMurphy has been a dream role of mine.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to act in the role.”  A Troy resident and social studies teacher at Ferndale High School, Welborn sees the conflict as a battle of wills.  “McMurphy is a battler, and he has lots of battles.”


Dickinson sees the theme as ” a suppression of individualism by the industrialized society.  It is the key that runs throughout–every major character is either suppressed or repressed.”  But in the end she adds,  “It’s a show about hope and leadership.”


Much of this theme is voiced at the end of the play by the Indian, Chief Bromden, who is played in this production by Tony Kruzman.  Kruzman will be familiar to long-time audiences and also to members of the community who will remember his 41 years of being a teacher and a principal in both the Birmingham and  Bloomfield Hills school districts.  Kruzman, a Troy resident,  is currently an Instructior atOakland University in the Education Department.


The play, written by Dale Wasserman, is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ken Kesey.  The Academy Award-winning movie starring Jack Nicholson came later.


Bev Dickinson is well-known in community theater for direction of musicals, which she has often directed as a team with her husband, John, acting as musical director.  “Musicals are typically much less intensive, as far as character work.  Think of it–you say 25 lines or so, and break into song–however, the talent level is no less needy in a musical; it’s just different.”ZZThe show will go on.  The large cast of patients, medical staff, and hangers-on is now working as one, looking forward to the Nov. 4 opening and the opportunity to portray to the public what happened at one mental hospital in the early 1960’s.


The play runs on Nov. 4, 5, 11, & 12 at 8 p.m. and on Nov. 6 & 13 at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $17 and may be purchased on-line at or at 248-644-2075.    


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