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Buggin'

"Bug" at Theatreworks

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We've all been there, right? You meet somebody who's obviously got some problems, but, hey, so do you. You check into a motel to consummate the relationship with sex and more drugs than Walmart's pharmacy. Next thing you know, you've got bugs living under your skin eating your brain. Maybe it's because you were used as a guinea pig in the army. Maybe it's the drugs. Or maybe you caught them from your new friend.

At first glance, Tracy Letts' play Bug, which follows that basic premise, seems like the perfect Halloween season offering for a small theater company that puts more emphasis on acting than design. The cast is manageable, the set is negligible, and the script, a psychological horror story, is everything you'd expect from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of August: Osage County and Killer Joe. Gene Elliott, artistic director for the New Moon Theatre Company, says it's one of the hardest things his ambitious company has ever brought to the stage.

"You read the script and wonder why he would ever ask you to do some of these things," Elliott says, reveling in the challenges.

Because of all the drugs involved, New Moon brought a narcotics officer to rehearsal to talk about use and behavior.

"We needed to learn the correct way to smoke crack," Elliott says.

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