Bug, the newest play by Killer Joe author Tracy Letts, begins its American premiere run March 15 by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington DC.
Wilson Milam, who staged the London premiere of Bug, helms the DC run, which officially opens March 18 and continues to April 16. Two days of pay-what-you-can shows preceded the March 15 first preview.
Deborah Hazlett, Brian Hemmingsen, Kate Norris, Eric Sutton and Stephen Schmidt are featured in the darkly quirky play about a 40-year-old woman named Agnes hiding from her ex-con husband in the motel outside Oklahoma City. Partying with a girlfriend, she meets Peter, who begins to see bugs everywhere.
Woolly Mammoth, whose mandate is to produce plays that question mainstream American values, bills the play as being "about people trying to connect in a paranoid, government-plot filled, 'X Files' world." A strange doctor from Peter's past enters -- and so does Agnes' brutal husband. The show is for mature audiences.
Director Milam staged the trailer-park-set, violence-filled Killer Joe in London and Off-Broadway. Letts' Killer Joe was first produced by Hired Gun Productions in Chicago. It has since been performed at the Edinburgh Festival, in London, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Australia and Germany, and in 1999 completed a successful Off-Broadway revival whose various casts included Amanda Plummer, Scott Glenn, Lori Petty and Michelle Williams.
Bug premiered at London's Gate Theatre in fall 1998.
Bug tickets are $16-$29. Woolly Mammoth performs at 1401 Church Street, NW, in Washington DC. Call (202) 393-3939 for tickets.
-- By Kenneth Jones