A question of sanity: CT-A will present 'Cuckoo's Nest'

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – In “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” McMurphy thinks a stay at a mental hospital is easier than a jail work detail.
It’s not that simple.
“McMurphy stands for justice and honor and bravado vs. the institution,” said Tyson Stephenson, Corinth Theatre-Arts’ new artistic director.
McMurphy’s battle will play across the stage at the Corinth Coliseum Civic Center from Friday to Sunday, April 10.
In the movie version of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Jack Nicholson portrays McMurphy. For CT-A’s production, the role belongs to David Maxedon.
“A Nicholson characterization wouldn’t work,” Maxedon said. “Furthermore, you’ll never be able to out-Jack Jack.”

‘Sledgehammer’
Instead, Maxedon and his fellow actors have worked to get into the hearts and minds of their characters. Maxedon said the effort has gone well.
“I am super-hyped about this show. I think this is going to be a sledgehammer,” he said. “Everybody has been so solid and committed. It’s going to be great.”
It’s Linda Dixon’s job to play Nurse Ratched. Louise Fletcher won an Academy Award for her performance as Ratched in the 1975 movie, and Dixon said she understands why.
“It’s difficult to get across the emotion she is feeling when she doesn’t show a lot of emotion,” Dixon said. “She doesn’t get to yell or get upset vocally very often, but there are times when she wants to do that.”
Ratched represents the order of the institution against McMurphy’s free-wheeling spirit. It’s a serious battle, and there will be consequences.
“This is a deep, emotional production,” Dixon said. “It has its comedic moments, which helps. It’s entertaining, but it’s also thought-provoking.”
The play contains mature content, and audience members should expect to leave the show with questions rolling in their minds.
“Who’s really crazy?” Stephenson said. “Is the world crazy, or are the crazy people crazy?”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.