I will be playing Doctor Spivey in the Rockaway Theatre Company production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" opening Friday, Nov. 13 and running for 6 performances over two weekends. This is only the 2nd show I've been in where I have a bunch of lines - even a short speech - and for me memorizing them and the cues from other actors has been tough. We have only 2 more rehearsals and though I'm getting close I still need to nail stuff down. And then yesterday they told me I am not talking loud enough - use your teacher voice they told me - I haven't used my teacher voice for 20 years. I will take a shot at it at tonight's rehearsal. I am in only 3 scenes and when I finish each one I race off the stage, feeling I've just finished a test.
Well, anyway - if you want to come and see me make a fool of myself - but more importantly see a play that will echo in your mind about some of the schools you may have worked in - call the RTC hotline: (718-374-6400). 8PM performances Nov. 13, 14, 20, 21 and 2PM matinees Nov. 15, 22.
There is so much meat in this play for educators working in often oppressive institutions that can at times seem like a mental institution.
|Frank Caiati and Matt Smilardi|
Below is this Friday's column where I talk about this amazing cast of A-list actors who have been nice enough to humor this D-list actor.
Frank and Matt have been with RTC since they were teenagers and have played leading roles in many shows. Frank is now a guidance counselor and Matt runs youth programs in a public school, so the transition to a mental institution is an easy stretch. Frank has also been my acting teacher and go to guy when I need a clue as what to do on stage.
|The inmates with McMurphy in hat (John Stillwaggon). David Risley as Harding on the right|
Submitted for publication to The Wave, November 13, 2015
David Risley, an RTC mainstay, follows up on his very funny performance in Plaza Suite this past September by taking on the role of inmate Harding. David directed the wonderful “Lost in Yonkers” which also starred Linda Browning as the sympathetic Bella, who is now playing the very unsympathetic Nurse Ratched, a testament to her range as an actor. David will be directing Sunshine Boys next season.
Nurse Ratched - or Rat Sh_t, as McMurphy refers to her, ORDERS you to call the RTC hotline (718-374-6400) or face a heavy dose of anti-psychotic meds and severe assault on your self-esteem in group therapy.