“Cuckoo’s Nest” Student Profile: Megan Guidarelli

Meet Megan Guidarelli, playing the role of Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Megan Guidarelli is a Senior Theatre and Creative Writing double major. Megan has been involved in productions both main stage and student produced since her freshman year. Some favorites include: Leon and Joey, Marriage of Bette and Boo, The Beckett Project, Midsummer Nights Dream, Boston Marriage, and Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice. Megan is also involved in the local non-profit children’s theatre company Sandbox Stories. She is currently “co-T.A.- ing” an Introductory Performance class through the theatre program. When she graduates, if ever, she hopes to pursue an MFA in creative writing.

For audience members who have read the book or seen the movie, what will the live experience be like? What is so wonderful about the theatrical version of Cuckoo’s is the fact that as an audience member, the tension, the drama, becomes real. You feel the fear of these men, see their routine, what they go through, and you yourself loathe the Big Nurse.  In our version, we’ve put the audience in the ward. So not only is escape impossible for the patients; but for the audience as well.

What type of preparation have you done to portray your character? I researched nursing behavior/protocol of the 50s/ 60s and tried to institute a routine for Nurse Ratched. Every time she walks onstage, there is a specific order to how she operates, very regimented. When McMurphy comes and disrupts that routine, you realize just how high the stakes become and how determined she is to regain control.

What have you enjoyed most about being in this production? Nurse Ratched, to me, is the ultimate predator. Sly, intelligent, manipulative, passive aggressive, and self-righteous—oh yes, it has been wonderfully delicious playing a spider.  Rarely do people realize that the villains are the fun ones to play.

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