Taking a fresh approach to a familiar story, Rocky Mountain Deaf Theatre co-director Nicki Runge has adapted Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest into a conceptual, viewer-engrossing production. With a majority of the troupe’s actors being deaf and signing their dialogue (while others either sign and speak or just speak), audience members get to experience both the literal alienation that the hearing-impaired deal with every day and the metaphorical subjugation of Kesey’s characters.
“I remember watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in college and thinking that the way the patients were treated was reflective of some of my experiences as a person who is deaf,” says Runge, who aims to give viewers “the experience of confusion, where they aren’t sure what a character is saying, while they’ll also have moments that seem more like their everyday experiences.
“We have tried to ensure that major plot points will be clear for everyone in the audience, whether they know sign language or not,” she adds.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this weekend and next at Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton Street in Aurora. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Additional performances take place later in the month in Boulder and Colorado Springs; for details, visit rmdeaftheatre.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Sept. 27. Continues through Oct. 6, 2013