Bootless, never being one to shy away from pieces that tweak the nerves of today’s hot topics, saw an opportunity in Tracy Letts’ Bug. Its discussions of government propaganda and interference, while poignant 20 years, highlights more recent, recurring, concerns in the new millennium.
Set in a seedy Oklahoma City motel room, the play centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorced waitress with a fondness for cocaine and isolation, and Peter, a soft-spoken, possibly AWOL, Gulf War drifter. Besides avoiding Agnes’ physically abusive, ex-con ex-husband, the pair has to deal with a hidden bug infestation problem that has them dealing with scathing welts and festering scores. As this riveting thriller heads towards a fever pitch, their growing relationship blossoms – along with the couples’ paranoia of the war in Iraq, the Oklahoma City bombing, kidnappings, hostages, cult suicides, and the secret shadow government performing experiments on soldiers.
While the show itself tackles more world encompassing intricacies, the performers are tasked with viewing the minutiae: grasping the characters and honing an understanding of the tangled-twine-ball world they inhabit. Today our aim to start data mining Heather Ferrel and Dave Hastings – both of which have graciously volunteered to be interviewed/investigated by the FBI.
“[It’s hard] changing from a confident Heather Ferrel to a broken, lonely woman – a woman who’s basically a function of the people around her,” states Heather Ferrel, speaking about her experience as the slowly corrupted Agnes. “Loneliness and low self-esteem are powerful states to manipulate. You never know what kind of loss just might push you over the edge – especially in the presence of an influence that may seemingly make you feel better: be it drugs or even people.”
Even the villains of the piece, such as Jerry, Agne’s ex-husband (portrayed by Dave Hastings), are studied within an inch of their lives. Hastings goes on record to say, “The part of this role that I most want to express is Jerry’s true concern for Agnes’ wellbeing: despite his surliness and emotional atrophy.” It’s this attention to detail that will assuredly set Bug apart from the rest of the innocent, non-believers. Each individual character deals with their own brand of paranoia and anxiety, but the performers don’t let it stop there. Through their rehearsal process, and the guidance of director Rosanne DellAversano, they’ve dug into their character’s most private whims (and maybe inboxes) to get a better grasp of motivations.
If there’s one show you want to emerge from your subterranean bunker to see – this is it. Put on your tinfoil hats and join us for the culmination of this in depth browser history search character study on February 27.
Tickets can be purchased here.