"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" meets "Who Has Seen the Wind?" is how John Nolan, cultural director for the Tommy Douglas Performing Arts Centre, described the world premiere play "The Crazy Man" being presented at the centre from August 5 to 8.The play is based on Pamela Porter's 2006 Governor General Literary Award-winning novel of the same name. Nolan has adapted the story for the stage."It's a lovely story of Weyburn in the 1960s," said Nolan.The story is centered around a family who suffers a tragic accident, leaving a daughter crippled and a mother alone to care for the family farm. Out of desperation and against the advice of community members, the mother hires a patient, Angus, from the Weyburn Mental Hospital to help-out on the farm."Just the fact that (Angus) is there and out of the hospital makes the community crazy," said Nolan. The stigma of mental illness drives the community to distrust the former patient and they insist that the mother and daughter have put their lives in danger."Rather than a horrible mistake, this man ends up being a Godsend for the family and he is probably the most sane person in the community," said Nolan.According to Nolan, the lesson of the story is to learn more about an issue before forming an opinion. "We need to educate ourselves on facts and reality rather than fear and paranoia," said Nolan.Jenna Neufeld stars as the daughter, Emaline. The 12-year-old has already starred in three plays put on at the Tommy Douglas Centre - "Treasure Island," "The Hobbit" and "Hannah's Suitcase."David Rennie plays Angus and Connie Nightingale plays the mother, Clarice.Author Pamela Porter said it's no coincidence that her book contains many references to local people, places and events. She began writing the story in the mid-1990s when her family began making annual trips from Sidney, BC to Weyburn to visit her husband Robert's family farm."We would meet family friends for coffee and they would talk about what the town used to look like, people they used to know and things that happened decades ago," said Porter. Porter said she gained a lot of her ideas visiting with people on "coffee row.""I'd find out little details like where buildings used to be, people's reactions to different events around town and people would often have stories about the mental hospital," said Porter.One character in the book came from an experience that Porter didn't want to forget - a friend that she had to leave behind."One summer, I was trying to keep the kids interested while Rob looked after the crops," said Porter. After several visits to the museum and library, Porter said she had the "brilliant idea" to go to the animal shelter. She and her family fell in love with a husky dog named Meeka, but due to their travelling circumstances they were unable to adopt the creature that had captured their hearts."We couldn't adopt her, so I put her in the book," said Porter.A dog will make an appearance during the play, courtesy of the Weyburn Humane Society.Porter is excited to see her book being adapted into a play, but said it was an odd feeling to see the characters from her book come to life on stage during a rehearsal."(The actors) have their own ownership of this story now," said Porter. "They're making it their own."Porter said that, to a writer, the books they have written are like their children.""The Crazy Man" always felt like that gifted child that goes out and has its own success and a life of its own, far beyond what I ever thought would happen to it," said Porter.Porter plans to attend the opening night of the play on August 5.Nolan said that they are still looking to fill some parts in the play. Professional theatre training is being given to youth during the day and to adults in the evening."The Crazy Man" is being featured in conjunction with the Weyburn Wheat Festival.