HITW veteran, Eugene “Gene” Tellier reached back to his adolescence to create One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s Chief Bromden. He described his adolescent self as “socially withdrawn and really good at computers and math.” He also suffered the consequences of being named Eugene during a time when 80s nerd movies ruled (Google it if you don’t know what we mean). However, this difficult time gave him a great foundation to create this multi-layered character.
“Chief Bromden watched his father get destroyed by a civilization that didn’t appreciate the Native American way of life. He used his advantage in size against people who were tormenting him. Unfortunately, he was then viewed as a lunatic. To deal, he closed himself off from the society that rejected him.”
This isn’t Gene’s first shot at tackling this role. He was cast in another local production fourteen years ago. Unfortunately, he had to drop out due to work commitments. “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do this show over the years,” he said. “When HITW announced that they were doing it, I jumped at the chance to come out for Bromden again.”
When Gene takes the stage in a few weeks, it will mark the end of a seven year absence from theater. “I finished my degree in April. I got an itch to do a show again to see if I can hack it.”
So far, his return has been a positive one. “I have so much fun working with this cast and (Director) Jim Williams. He is very collaborative and allows the actors to speak their mind. The atmosphere is relaxed, there is a lot of joking and everyone is at ease.”
You can catch Gene as Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, playing on October 31, November 1, 6, 7, 8, 14 & 15, 2014 at 8:00p.m.