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Stoops Ferry Productions to debut ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’

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Stoops Ferry Productions
Actors of the Stoops Ferry Productions rehearse a scene from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.'

Stoops Ferry Productions, a Coraopolis-based theater group, will hold its debut show — “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” — July 13 at Keith Holmes VFW Post 402.

Play director, Veronica White, founder of Stoops Ferry Productions, said the book by Ken Kesey, set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, holds special significance for her.

“My mother was a psychiatric nurse back in the day,” said White, a Moon resident, explaining her decision.

“We all have things that make us different from normal,” she said.

The book, which was made into a movie that garnered Jack Nicholson an Academy Award, looks at how the characters struggle to free themselves from their cage, both symbolically and physically.

The lead character, Randle P. McMurphy, will be played by Adam Wainwright, a local actor who has appeared in productions at South Park Theatre, Little Lake Theatre and the Greensburg Civic Theatre. Nurse Ratched, McMurphy’s nemesis, will be played by Samantha Camp, a local actress who has also appeared in plays at Little Lake Theatre, as well as South Park Theatre and Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Edward Bates will play Chief Bromden. Bates’ resume includes roles in movies and television shows.

The remainder of the cast is a mix of young and old veterans and newcomers from throughout the Pittsburgh, she said.

White, a former software engineer, who retired at 47 following a heart attack, said she has always been artistic and wanted to put that passion into something visual.

“I always took art classes instead of music classes,” said White, now 55, who named her theater group after Stoops Ferry Road, a route she travels frequently.

Coraopolis was specifically picked for Stoops Ferry’s debut production because of the revitalizations efforts taking place in the area. She also said this will be one of the first plays in Coraopolis since the high school was closed in the early 1970s.

Stoops Ferry, which calls itself a filmmaking group with a theater problem, will also be debuting “Juniper & Lamplight,” written by Neil Mahoney, Stoop Ferry’s vice president. The film is about a 20-something who cannot find happiness. No release date has been made public.

The play also will be held July 14, 21 and July 22. Friday and Saturday show times are 7 p.m. The Sunday show starts at 4 p.m. Doors and the bar open an hour before the curtain goes up.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at [email protected], 412-627-9423, or Twitter @41Suzanne.

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