by Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance Times
In 1975 Jack Nicholson starred in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a film many consider to be one of the greatest ever created, based on a 1962 novel by Ken Kesey. Now, the story takes the stage in a live performance put on by Stage 43 Theatrical Society with Langley resident Scott Anderson as stuttering Billy Bibbit.
“I got involved in theatre around July. I was looking for some more acting parts to do,” he explained.
— stage43 (@stage43theatre) April 24, 2019
While working on Tony and Tina’s Wedding, the director of that show told Anderson about Stage 43’s new play (opened Thursday, May 2). Together with Three Musketeers, this performance is his third live stage role and he is embracing community theatre in a big way.
“Absolutely, I’ve definitely caught the theatre bug on this one,” he said.
The character of Billy Bibbit appeals to Anderson because the distinct difference from his own life.
“Billy despises and fears his mother,” he said. “My mother was one of the greatest people in my life. It was really neat to take a character that was a complete 180 from my own life and trying to explore that to the best of my abilities.”
While Anderson hasn’t seen the 1975 film, the script captured him with the life of the patients.
“They exist in this world that as much as they don’t like it, it’s safer for them inside the hospital than it is in the real world,” he notes. “Then McMurphy comes along and shines a light on the real world.”
Anderson feels the film gives a glimpse into some of life’s situations that aren’t always reflected in the popular movies or TV currently seen.
“It’s nice to see the hero come out on top, but at the end of the day that’s not always going to happen,” he says. “[This show] definitely speaks to a more realistic experience.”
Langley has been Anderson’s home, “pretty much all my life,” he said.
“I like the fact that even though it’s a relatively large city, it’s nowhere near as busy and crazy as Vancouver,” he added. “It’s always felt like home to me.”
Acting has come naturally to him given his desire to embrace the arts and bring them into his own life while also sharing them with others.
“The arts have always been a big part of my life and I think a lot of people can relate to that,” he says. “It’s an outlet and a hobby and it’s an escape for people. You’re putting a piece of yourself into it and you’re really getting behind what you’re working on.”
He also sees the community getting behind the arts. Whether it’s a concert, an art exhibit, or a live performance, Anderson recognizes the importance that various arts activities hold within a community.
“It’s definitely very community driven, because you’ve got the volunteers who work on the production end, you’ve got the actors and the crew. But it’s also the community that goes to see it, [they are] very much supporting the shows that they watch,” he said.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is playing at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam on various days May 2 to 11. Tickets are on sale through stage43.org/tickets.
Partial proceeds benefit the new Kwikwetlem First Nation Health and Wellness Centre.
Is there more to this story?