Directed by Sarah M. Batista-Pereira ’13
Produced by Senan Ebrahim ’12, Aaron S. Graham-Horowitz ’15, and John L. Pulice ’15
Paranoia, insanity, and love are all par for the course in “Bug,” which opened at the Loeb Ex last Friday as part of Harvard-Radcliffe Summer Theater 2012. Written by Tracy Letts—who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for “August: Osage County,”—“Bug” centers on the relationship between cocktail waitress Agnes (Ella G. Gibson ’15) and war veteran Peter (Teis D. Jorgensen ’14), a personal connection that quickly deteriorates due to Peter's mental illness and Agnes's personal problems.
“What interests me is the idea of choosing something insane,” says director Sarah M. Batista-Pereira ’13. “Peter’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and Agnes has had a stressful life.”
However, Agnes and Peter are not the only disturbed individuals in the play. The psychiatrist Dr. Sweet (Joey J. Kim ’15) is obsessed with his patient Peter, and this dynamic also has a crucial impact on the show. “He’s a very interesting character in that he cares about Peter so much that he’ll manipulate anyone,” Kim says. “There’s a scene where he talks to Peter’s new lover and he is using everything to manipulate this girl.”
The tension created by the machinations of the characters is heightened by the play’s sparse set. According to Batista-Pereira, the show’s inherent voyeurism will be amplified by the fact that the action is observed through a false window. However, this also adds a layer of detachment.
“I didn’t want the audience to get trapped in the paranoia,” Batista-Pereira explained. “I wanted them to observe from a distance.”