It’s the kind of play where you are simply stunned at the end, incapable of movement or rational thought for a few seconds while you slowly ease yourself back into reality. This is usually the time in a movie where the audience remains for an extended view of the credits, content for a moment to prolong the experience before extricating themselves from the fictional world they just faced.
That’s the power of great theatre isn’t it? A great story can transport you to a whole other dimension, removing you from reality (and who doesn’t like that!?) and placing you in another world, a mindset far from your own. Though it may not always be pleasant, it is a necessary and important experience to be had on occasion, one that promotes empathy and understanding, and which can be ultimately invigorating and inspiring.
Bug will get under your skin. The plot, the dialogue, the action, the characters all amalgamated in an intense experience with an ever escalating set of stakes and agonizing scenarios. It was extremely affecting, even awe inducing at the depth to which the various facets of the production combined in truthful yet psychotically disturbing ways. The acting, simply put, is extraordinary, each actor skillfully and truthfully portraying the deep complexities of his or her character’s challenging mental state.
The play is rampant with these dark and damaged, complex and contradicting characters that would be challenging people to encounter, much less portray. To be in the mindset of the people in this play is a feat of its own, a process which requires as much training and discipline as an athlete undertakes. One performance left me thoroughly exhausted, and having to live and breathe that mindset night after night would be demanding and draining to say the least, and a highly commendable accomplishment at that.
People say you write what you know. It certainly makes me wonder about Tracy Letts’s life, judging from this play and two of his other most well known ones, ‘August: Osage County,’ and ‘Killer Joe’ (an Itsazoo production I’m looking forward to seeing soon in Vancouver!) I wonder about his upbringing, his childhood, his life story…Each of the plays mentioned above features a plethora of disturbing characters and scenarios. Drawn from real life or not they certainly don’t cease to entertain us!
Bug will stick with you…
As a theatre blogger for GVPTA, my ticket was provided free of charge to this production. That being said, opinions and statements made are my own. This is not a review, but a post meant to promote discussion within the Vancouver Theatre Community. GVPTA supports its member companies.