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Ernie Harwell\'s Celebrated Voice Will Grace the Hilberry Stage

April 10, 2009

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
performance breakdown:

Playing in Rotating Repertory

April 3, 2009 - May 8, 2009
2 p.m.: May 6
8 p.m.: Apr. 9, Apr. 23, May 7
8 p.m.: Apr. 3, Apr. 10, Apr. 24, May 8
2 p.m.: Apr. 4, Apr. 18
8 p.m.: Apr. 4, Apr. 18, Apr. 25, May 2

The renowned sports announcer Ernie Harwell, whose voice is synonymous with the Detroit Tigers, will make a special vocal appearance in the Hilberry Theatre's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The production will run in rotating repertory from April 3 - May 8, 2009 and tickets are available by calling the Wayne State University box office at (313) 577-2972.

In the Hilberry's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Mr. Harwell will be announcing the opener of the 1967 World Series baseball game while McMurphy and other characters grapple with Nurse Ratched to hear every word. Students and faculty from The Department of Theatre at Wayne State University are extremely excited about Mr. Harwell's participation and they are grateful that he could be part of their production.

Harwell had several jobs before announcing for the Detroit Tigers for forty-two years. He worked as a commentator on Atlanta's WSB, as a broadcaster for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he also did play-by-play for the New York Giants and the Baltimore Orioles.

Baseball fans and professionals venerate Harwell for his distinctive broadcasting style and upstanding character. Bill Freehan, a Tigers catcher from 1963-76 stated, "Ernie Harwell stands, as much as anybody I can think of, as a positive representative of what the game of baseball should and does stand for."

In 1981, the National Baseball Hall of Fame honored Harwell with the Ford C. Frick award for broadcasting excellence. He was also the first active broadcaster to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Harwell has been inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame (1998), the National Sportscasters Hall of Fame (1989) and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame (1989).

The play is set in the ward of a State Mental Hospital somewhere in the Pacific Northwest in 1967. It tells the story of a group of mental patients striving for dignity in the face of a tyrannical nurse, Ratched. The group includes an array of colorful characters, including Randle Patrick McMurphy, an unconventional individual who attempts to provide basic human freedoms for his fellow facility patients. Knowing little about mental illness, McMurphy is shocked by the passive lifestyle of the hospital residents and he begins to work to spice up their monotonous existence. For example, much to the dismay of the hospital staff, he organizes a basketball game in the living quarters.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is directed by Lavinia Hart, assisted by Caroline L. Price. The cast includes Alan Ball* (Dale Harding), Jason Cabral (Scanlon), Christina Flynn (Aide Turkle), Kate Gustin (Sandra), Safiya Johnson (Nurse Ratched), Erman Jones (Chief Bromden), Aaron Kirby (Ruckley), James Kuhl (Randle P. McMurphy), Rob Pantano (Martini), Caroline L. Price (Candy Starr), Peter C. Prouty (Cheswick), Samantha Rosentrater (Nurse Flinn), Brian P. Sage (Dr. Spivey), Dylan Stuckey (Billy Bibbitt), Justin Vanden Heuvel (Aide Williams), Jordan Whalen (Aide Warren), Joe Hamid (Chronic 1), and Alex Hill (Chronic 2).

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
plays in rotating repertory with Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin and All My Sons by Arthur Miller. Group discounts and corporate packages are available. For ticket information, please call (313) 577-2972 or visit the Wayne State University Box Office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Cass Avenue and Hancock. Performance information and tickets may also be obtained by visiting the Theatre's websites at and

*Appears by special permission of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Season sponsored by CBS Outdoor, Between The Lines, Encore Michigan, and the Times Herald newspapers.