San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ Comes To San José Stage

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” the play adapted from the 1962 book made famous by Jack Nicholson’s memorable performance in the 1975 movie, opens later this month, presented by the English-language Little Theatre Group and directed by longtime resident Harry Towne.

The theater veteran says the upcoming play brings him full circle.

“Twenty-five years ago, I directed ’12 Angry Men’ and acted in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ Last year I acted in ’12 Angry Men,’ and now I’m directing ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’” he says.

Towne adds that he has wanted to direct ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ for years, but the timing was never right.

“Now it is, from several perspectives,” he asserts. “For me, there are themes addressed by this play that have become more pertinent than they were in the ’60s, when the story takes place.

“In the ’60s, many of the themes were underground but are now surfacing. The experiments in brainwashing, electroshock therapy, sensory deprivation and psychological torture conducted at McGillUniversity, among others, were institutionalized by the CIA, only to be exposed in the ongoing war on terror 40 years later.”

The play runs May 15 to June 8 at the Laurence Olivier Theater off Paseo Colón, next to Sala Garbo. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For reservations, call 8355-1623 or visit

–Stephen Harrington


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