New Moon Theatre Company strives to produce challenging and provocative works that are rarely performed on the main stages of Memphis. Bug by Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) is right up their alley.
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 Afghanistan War drifter. Agnes stays at a hotel in hopes of avoiding her physically abusive ex-husband, Jerry, who is presently in jail. At first, she lets Peter sleep platonically on her floor, but not long after, she promotes him to the bed. Matters become more complicated as Jerry returns and some sort of bug infestation is perceived. Fears quickly escalate to paranoia, conspiracy theories and twisted psychological motives.
The Associated Press called Bug, "...(a) thoroughly outrageous and thoroughly entertaining play...the possibility of enemies, real and imagined, to squash has never been more theatrical."
I spoke with the show's director, Gene Elliot, and cast member Kell Christie about bringing this lurid thriller to the Theatreworks Stage.
What: Bug by Tracy Letts
Performance Dates: October 19 - November 4
Location: Theatreworks, 2085 Monroe Avenue, Memphis
Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
Tickets: $15 Adults, $12 Seniors, Students & Military
Contact: 901-484-3467, http://www.newmoontheatre.org
Adult Content Warning: This production contains strong language and nudity.