Winged Ox Players to present ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

JAMESTOWN — The Winged Ox Players will present their fall production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” on Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sept. 29 and Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Willow Bay Theatre, 21 East Third St., Jamestown.

The Winged Ox Players is a ministry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown. The local theater group presents plays that deal with contemporary issues and deliver thought provoking messages. Their last production of “Least Resistance” an original play based on true-life stories of local individuals affected by the opioid crisis, brought rave reviews, and was invited to be presented in Chautauqua and Buffalo.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is a ground-breaking play by Dale Wasserman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey. The play is set in a mental institution in the 1960’s. It offers a harsh and yet compelling view of both the individuals suffering from mental health conditions and the mental health professionals who are entrusted with their care and treatment.

Steven Michael Cobb, Winged Ox Players’ Artistic Director and Director of the production says that the group has chosen to bring the issue of the public perception of mental illness to light by staging this production. Admission to the show is free of charge, but proceeds from donations collected at each performance will be donated to local mental health organizations.

“While conditions in mental institutions and our society’s understanding of mental health have improved significantly, most people who suffer from mental health concerns never seek treatment for a variety of reasons including social stigma, cultural norms, and lack of access.” says Cobb. “This play offers us the opportunity to work in our community to reduce the stigma of mental health conditions and to encourage open and honest conversations about mental health.”

As an effort to be a part of the solution to this sometimes-overwhelming issue, the Winged Ox Players will be participating in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Jamestown. St. Luke’s will also be offering an eight-hour course on Mental Health First Aide on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16. This training will teach participants to identify risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations and where to turn for help.

For more information about the play or any of the other collaborative events, contact Steven Cobb (499-5142), Marge Fiore, (margefiore777@gmail.com) or Willow Fodor (wfodor@gmail.com).

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