Audition Notice: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

By Dale Wasserman and Ken Kesey
Produced through Special Arrangement with Samuel French, Inc

Produced by Jeremy Zeller
Directed by Deidre Parmenter
Assistant Directed by Dave Parmenter

Audition Dates & Times: 

Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday; March 18th through 20th, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Audition Location: 

Hillcrest Center for the Arts
403 W. Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Performance Dates: 

The show runs from May 18 through June 9. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. There will be one extra performance on Saturday, May 26, at 2:00pm.

Rehearsal Schedule:

We will be rehearsing from March 26 through May 17. Rehearsals will generally be held at the theatre Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 10:00pm. Not all actors will be called for all rehearsals.

Audition Requirements: 

Auditioners should be familiar with the script (two acts). Please prepare a 1 to 1-1/2 minute monologue that relates to one of the characters below. (You can still read for a character of a different nature.) Sides will be posted and we will have readings from the show.

The script has strong language, which will be used in the production.

Plot Summary: 

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST is the story of a power struggle between Randall Patrick McMurphy – a new admission to a psychiatric hospital – and Nurse Ratched, the longtime nurse. Ratched has had control over both the men on the ward and her colleagues, including the attending psychiatrist, Dr Spivey, for years. She understands full well the weaknesses of each person she comes in contact with and exploits that knowledge to bend them to her will. Quickly recognizing these manipulations, McMurphy takes on the role of agitator / protector and breathes new life into the men on the ward. Spattered with laughter, this drama has a lot to say about power, friendship, and growth. 

This play includes strong language and mature content. RATED R.

For More Information: 

Contact Jeremy Zeller, Producer, at or 805-298-9775

Character Breakdown: 

No one under the age of 18 will be cast without the express permission of a parent. All roles are adults, but some could potentially be played by an older teen. Age ranges are estimates and may be adjusted.

Chief Bromden – male, 40s
Ideally, physically tall and very fit; half Native American, half white.  The Chief must be able to communicate through both verbal and non-verbal means. His character pretends to be deaf-mute throughout, but he shares his delusions and destroyed confidence in his powerful monologues.

Nurse Ratched – female, 30s – 40s
Ratched is an authoritarian – a scheming and manipulative nurse who asserts control because she can. She is mechanical, calculated, and evil under her sweet veneer. She epitomizes the abuse of power and is never redeemed.

Nurse Flinn – female, 20s
A young, subservient, and perpetually frightened nurse.

Dale Harding – male, 30s – 50s
Harding is a college educated, effeminate man who may be a homosexual choosing to live as a heterosexual. His wife and Nurse Ratched emotionally castrate him.

Billy Bibbitt – male, plays 31
A repressed virgin, Bibbitt has a bit of an Oedipal complex and is dominated by his mother. He acts much like a teenager and feels ineffective enough that he has attempted suicide.

Charles Atkins Cheswick III - male, 50s or older
Cheswick is an older man – emotional, extremely nervous, and upset all the time.

Frank Scanlon – male, 40s – 50s
Dryly sarcastic; less afraid of Nurse Ratched than the other patients, he is obsessed with bombs.

Anthony Martini – male, will consider all ages
Delusional but happy, he is often laughing at himself and his situation. Has a lot of energy, and occasional hallucinations.

Ruckly – male, will consider all ages
Ruckly has had a previous lobotomy and only occasionally participates in the conversations with angry outbursts. Actor must be able to remain quiet, still, but “present” while on stage.

Randle Patrick McMurphy – male, plays 35
McMurphy is a manual laborer, who entered the asylum to get out of his work. He is a gambler, with a bit of carnival barker persona.  He doesn’t take crap from anyone and transforms the ward by teaching the others to question authority. He is wild, primitive, and anti-authoritarian, but cares about his ward mates.

Dr. Spivey / Technician – male, 40s
A spineless psychiatrist who is also controlled by Nurse Ratched, although he does have a moment of asserting himself.

Candy – female, 30s
Candy is a prostitute with a heart of gold. She relieves Bibby of his virginity and is a longtime friend of McMurphy. She is not yet completely jaded.

Sandy – female, 40s – 50s
Sandy is an older, more jaded, prostitute.

Aide Williams – male, over 30
A hospital aide who controls patients through demeaning them and treating them poorly.

Aide Washington - male, over 30
A hospital aide who controls patients through demeaning them and treating them poorly.

Aide Turkel – male, over 50
Night watchman who drinks. He is convinced to look the other way for a bit of alcohol when the inmates want to have a party.