Tracy Letts' BUG Set for Open Stage Theatre, 2/20-3/20

Not all love is pretty. Not all lives fulfilling. Can love be found when you've hit rock bottom? Or when you're hitting the rock? Playwright Tracy Letts' twisted psycho-thriller Bug explores love, fear and paranoia at a fever pitch. The 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning author of August: Osage County pits two lost souls against a vast conspiracy that may or may not be real.

In a seedy motel room on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, Agnes and Peter meet over a crack pipe and find in each other a love filled with the intensity and beauty of a super-nova.

The release from prison of Agnes' violent ex-husband becomes the least of their worries as Peter discovers a bug infestation that inflicts the lovers with scathing welts and festering sores. Peter believes the bugs are a result of experiments conducted on him in an army hospital. Fear soon spirals into paranoia, conspiracy theories and twisted psychological motives as the two wage war against the escalating infestation.

OpenStage Director Brenna Freestone believes Bug's intensity and themes should appeal to young and old alike. "This play doesn't hold itself accountable to any social norms or expectations. It's a new story, not an old story rewritten in a new way. It's exciting and frightening in its brutal honesty."

Despite the intensity and paranoia, Bug is a love story at heart. "The script finds the beauty within the pain." said Freestone. "Agnes and Peter find a connection despite their circumstances, despite their horrible reality."

"This show has strong adult content, dialogue and situations. We do not recommend that anyone under the age of 17 be admitted," Freestone warns. "Bug is creepy, twisted, exciting and shocking! This is one ride you will never forget. It will burrow into your psyche and leave you questioning every assumption you've ever had about government, psychosis and ultimately, reality."

Performances of Bug are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights from Feb. 20 to March 20, with Sunday matinées at 2 p.m. on March 7 and March 14. Performances are at the Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia in Fort Collins.

Individual tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors and students and groups of 10 or more. Matinee tickets are $13 per person. Tickets for FAB Friday, sponsored by Boulder Beer, on Feb. 26, are $12 and include a free beer at intermission.

Admission to the "Pay What You Can" preview performance on Friday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. will be at the door only.

Tickets are available from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, through the Lincoln Center box office at (970) 221-6730 and online at www.LCTIX.com.

Childcare will be available for the Friday, March 5 and 19 , performances through Young People's Learning Center, 209 E. Plum St. Call Young People's Learning Center at 970-482-1212 for childcare reservations.

A free performance for students and educators, funded by The Thornton Family Foundation, will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. To make reservations for the student/educator performance, contact OpenStage Theatre at (970) 484-5237.

A play guide containing information on the play and the playwright is available online at www.openstage.com. Click on Bug and then select the Play Guide icon at the top of the show page.

Audiences are invited to meet the cast of Bug following every performance. Free covered parking is available exclusively for OpenStage audiences at Lincoln Office Center, 419 Canyon Ave.

Major funding for Bug is provided by Citizen Printing.

Currently celebrating its thirty-seventh season, OpenStage Theatre is supported by the Downtown Development Authority, the Colorado Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund and the Thornton Family Foundation.

For more information, visit OpenStage's website at www.openstage.com or call 970-484-5237. Founded in 1973, OpenStage Theatre is a recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and a member of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for not-for-profit professional theatres.

A not-for-profit organization, OpenStage Theatre relies heavily on the support of sponsors and patrons who help make each season a success. With assistance from corporations, foundations and the general public, OpenStage has been able to maintain high quality productions for 37 years. For information on sponsorship and charitable gifts and on how you can support OpenStage Theatre, please call (970) 484-5237.

For more information, visit www.openstage.com

Photo: Brian Landis Folkins as Peter and Rebecca Spafford.

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