In David Timberline's article about Richmond's Acts of Faith Festival (“A Fifth of Faith,” Arts & Culture, Jan. 14), he mentioned “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” as his pick for “Least Convincing Faith Connection.” I vehemently disagree. We at Henley Street believe that the play fits very well into the festival.
The ward that the patients live on is a microcosm of the world the rest of us inhabit. Each patient represents a different flaw, or sin if you will, of the human race. These men are enslaved by Nurse Ratched's unjust tyranny, as were the Jews under the Roman Empire, until McMurphy enters the picture, as an unlikely hero: much like a certain son of a carpenter. Through the arc of the show McMurphy converts the men into followers, apostles, and leads them into the light, freeing them from said tyranny, and bringing them into a world of true understanding.
If you pay close attention there are also aspects of McMurphy healing the sick.
During the second act there are two major plot points that are directly related to the last days of Christ. I would love to go into more detail, but that ruins the fun, right?
A lot of research was done before selecting this show for the festival. Many articles by Ken Kesey and his contemporaries were referenced, and these show that our ideas are not pulled out of thin air, but rather they are derivative of the allegory that Kesey originally intended the show to be viewed under.
“One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest”