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New repertory company to perform ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

Stand Out Talent launches group to do more ‘straight’ plays
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Stand Out Talent presents “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

When: 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays from Jan. 18 through Feb. 2.

Where: Tower Theater, 417 Vernon St. in Roseville

Cost: $12 general admission, $10 seniors, $5 students.

Info: Call (916) 837-7469 or purchase tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com.

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Writers often turn to interesting characters in their stories. Here are some of our favorite characters in pop culture:

  • John “Scottie” Ferguson played by James Stewart in “Vertigo”
  • Randle Patrick “Mac” McMurphy, played by Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
  • Jack Torrance played by Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”
  • Lisa Rowe played by Angelina Jolie in “Girl, Interrupted”
  • John Nash played by Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”
  • Nina Sayers played by Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”

Roseville actor Jason Bortz remembers famed author and counterculture icon Ken Kesey arriving at his high school in a big magic bus.

Bortz grew up in Eugene, Ore. and Kesey lived just down the way. At the school, the author did readings of his own works, including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which was published in 1962.

“I’ve always had a connection with this piece since I was 17 years old,” Bortz said.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the play’s opening on Broadway. The story was popularized in a 1975 film starring Jack Nicholson as a criminal who’s transferred to a mental institution for evaluation. Bortz, who runs Stand Out Talent with his wife, is bringing the story to life at Tower Theater in Roseville, which opens tonight and runs through Feb. 2.

“I wanted to see how a drama would be received in Roseville,” he said. “If it does well, if it’s well-attended, then we will program more dramas into our schedule.”

Through the years, the performing arts venues on Vernon Street in downtown have historically focused on musical theater — same with Stand Out Talent since the nonprofit organization formed in 2010.

But Bortz wants to begin integrating “straight” plays into their season lineup, which is already scheduled through 2013. The production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” also marks the launch of Stand Out Talent’s repertory company — a core group of professional actors who serve as the house cast. They typically do plays, not musicals.

Forming a repertory company is part of Stand Out Talents’ continual efforts to expand their horizons. The organization also hosts musicals, retro movie screenings, youth acting camps, concerts, an animation festival and more.