One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (play)
|One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest|
|Written by||Dale Wasserman|
|Date premiered||November 13, 1963|
|Place premiered||Cort Theatre|
New York City
|Subject||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest|
Dale Wasserman's stage adaptation, with music by Teiji Ito, made its Broadway preview on November 12, 1963, its premiere on November 13, and ran until January 25, 1964 for a total of one preview and 82 performances. Since then, the play has had two revivals: first off-Broadway in 1971, directed by Lee Sankowich with Danny DeVito as Martini, then as a Broadway production in 2001 with Gary Sinise as McMurphy. The film version One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was released in 1975 and was based on the novel, not on the play. DeVito reprised his stage role in the film.
The 1963–64 Broadway production starred Kirk Douglas as Randle Patrick McMurphy, Gene Wilder as Billy Bibbit, William Daniels as Harding, Ed Ames as "Chief" Bromden, and Joan Tetzel as Nurse Ratched. Douglas retained the rights to make a film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for a decade, but was unable to find a studio willing to make it with him. Eventually, he gave the rights to his son Michael, who succeeded in getting the film produced. At that time, Kirk Douglas was deemed too old for the role of McMurphy, and the role was given to Jack Nicholson.
In April 1988, the Playhouse Theatre was the site for the first London production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The play was brought to the London stage by Cuckoo Productions, formed by Diane Hilton, Karin Parnaby, and Judy Kershaw. They raised £100,000 in 24 hours to bring the play to the London theatre.
In 2001, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival, winning the Tony Award for Best Play Revival. This production was directed by Terry Kinney and starred Gary Sinise, Amy Morton, Tim Sampson, Eric Johner, and Ross Lehman.
In 2004, Guy Masterson and Nica Burns mounted a production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Christian Slater, Mackenzie Crook and Frances Barber and a cast of comedians including Owen O'Neill. Masterson famously resigned as director & co-producer just prior to opening citing "ill health" and the production was finally delivered by Terry Johnson and Tamara Harvey. The show was a huge box office hit and transferred to London's Gielgud Theatre where it ran for over 20 weeks. This production was itself revived in 2006 with Alex Kingston taking over the role of Nurse Ratched. It then toured the UK in 2007 with Shane Richie playing McMurphy and Sophie Ward Nurse Ratched.
In 2018, After Hours Theatre Company in Los Angeles created an immersive version of the work. The Oregon State Hospital was recreated in a 7,000 sq. ft. warehouse based in Burbank. Each audience member was provided a costume and a patient wristband. During the immersive pre-show, audience members were tasked with finding clues as to why they have been admitted to the hospital that eventually led them to join the patient revolution. This production was nominated for 6 Ovation Awards, including a win for Best Lighting Design, Intimate Theatre.
Awards and nominations
2001 Broadway revival
|Tony Award||Best Revival of a Play||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play||Gary Sinise||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Revival of a Play||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Revival of a Play||Won|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Production of a Revival||Won|
- IBDB entry
- Theatre Database entry[failed verification]
- "Tower Theatre Company : One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Internet Broadway Database
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at ThatTheatreSite Provides character descriptions and updated audition listings.
- Original Production's ITDb
- 1971 revival's ITDb
- 2001 revival's ITDb