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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest workbook

In February 2017, it's tough to read Ken Kesey's novel as anything other than an allegory for a totalitarian regime.  Kesey creates a regime which manufactures consent from the people who live within it, and he depicts how it adapts to any threat presented to its ongoing existence.  It's larger than any one individual.  As an ensemble, we are asking how possible it is to resist this regime which is so flexible and which wields barely visible power.

We've edited Dale Wasserman's classic adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel to retain the original situations but distill many to their essence.  We've also incorporated text by Edward Snowden; this maintains Kesey's intention to create characters that are, in part, delusional, but, in equal part, 100% correct in their observations about power and control.  

I love troublemaking.  I'm the sort of troublemaker who makes trouble and then runs away before he gets caught.  I've learnt to face up to it & stand by ground more as I've gotten in my 30s.  But McMurphy inspires a different sort of troublemaking amongst the patients: the sort of 'I've-just-made-trouble-and-I'm-still-holding-eye-contact' type.  It is their awakening to the joy, fear and peril of troublemaking.  

To more accurately reflect the diversity of troublemakers in today's society, we've changed the genders and ethnicities of several patients: Harding & Cheswick are female, Bromden is Muslim & Billy is a man who was born into a female body.  They are connected by how, in their own ways, each one has been punished or tormented by patriarchy.

Production photographs for this show are here.

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Middle School Morning Exercises

In China (and, according to ensemble member Ved Sapru, in India also), young people are forced to do morning exercises each morning.  It's a pretty amazing sight.

Apple store employees

Apple store employees

On a recent trip to the Apple Store I got fascinated by these guys.  The way that they have to wear the same shirt but are allowed to choose their own trousers and shoes.  The way that some of them have earpieces.  The way that they are so darn helpful.

Google offices

Google offices

Oh man I'd love to go here.  Or to the Facebook one.

Misinformation

Misinformation

The quotation is from an especially excellent episode of the always brilliant podcast THE GIST.  I'm interested in the flexible tactics that regimes use to sustain themselves.

Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg

I have this stuck in my comp book for this project.

Edward Snowden's Alternative Christmas Message

We're using some of the text from this 2013 video broadcast by Channel 4.  It's fascinating how well it integrates with Kesey's text.

Manufacturing consent

Manufacturing consent

This quotation was sent to me a day into the project by ensemble member Michael Grieser-Johns.  

MC5-KICK OUT THE JAMS

This is a very popular warm-up song that will probably find its way into the show.