An early decision for this production of Cuckoo's Nest at
Ohlone College's Nummi Theatre was to have the audience on three
sides to create an immersive experience for them, almost a feeling
of being in the day room themselves. Action areas would be spread
throughout the space, and the window would be at the back of the
house, up on the audience risers.
Another decision was to have a very cold and impersonal space that
reflected some of the Chief's lines about a "machine"
that controlled people and dictated every facet of their lives:
a space also reflective of Nurse Ratched's power over the patients.
This led to a monolithic "concrete" tower that incorporated
the nurses' station and also served as a background for projections
during the Chief's fantasies. Inspiration for this set came from
generator rooms in power plants, as well as some WPA projects and
1960s Russian architecture.
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest scores on all acounts, from
the excellent scenic design (George Ledo), lighting (Matthew O'Donnell)
and sound (Fred Alim), to the dynamic storytelling by an outstanding
Ohlone College, Fremont, CA