K-State Theatre brings “Bug” to the Purple Masque

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On Thursday evening K-State Theatre’s production of the play “Bug” premiered at the Purple Masque Theatre in Memorial Stadium.

The student-directed production is the third show of the fall 2016 season.

“Bug” is a black comedy by playwright Tracey Letts, originally published in 1996.

The plot revolves around central character Agnes, a cocktail waitress played by Peighton Jamison, junior in theatre. The play is set is a motel room that Agnes lives in while she’s in hiding from her ex-husband Jerry, an ex-con played by Elijah Grover, senior in theatre.

Agnes finds friendship in the form of Peter, a Gulf War veteran played by Sterling Oliver, sophomore in theatre, and R.C., a local biker played by Kelli Jones, junior in theatre.

The cast is also joined by Cody O’Hare, junior in theatre, who plays the role of a doctor, as well as director Chase Rossman, senior in theatre. Rossman originally proposed the script to the department for consideration to be chosen as one of the semester’s productions.

Jones considers the play to be a romance story, but said she wants theatre-goers to be aware of the other themes presented.

“It’s a love story, but also a story about paranoia,” Jones said. “Paranoia is the theme that lingers through the show and it makes for a very suspenseful, graphic experience. People will see a very visual portrayal of paranoia.”

The cast and crew of “Bug” is made up entirely of students. Some have found the balance of classes with theatre involvement to be demanding.

Addison Price, freshman in theatre, took on the role of stage manager for the show. Price considered her position to be challenging, but found assistance in the production crew.

“It was overwhelming at first,” Price said. “I became stage manager during my first semester (at K-State). It’s still overwhelming throughout tech week, but thankfully there are many here to help, and a lot of good crew members working on the show.”

“Being a student actress can be difficult,” Jones said. “There are lots of times when you’ve got homework on your mind but you need to be focusing on rehearsal instead, which can go on until late hours of the evening.”

Mara Atzenhoffer, senior in theatre, works as one of the theatre department’s marketing employees and is also involved with “Bug” as a member of the props crew. Atzenhoffer urged students to see the show and to talk about it.

“As audience members, come see the show; it’s a lot of word-of-mouth from there, and we really need that,” Atzenhoffer said. “It’s important for us to market and spread the word because a lot of people want to know what we’re doing, but that info’s not always right out there.”

Cast and crew members consider the discussion of topics in plays to be a key aspect of the theatre experience.

“If enough word of the show gets out there, it will be an interesting conversation for students,” Atzenhoffer said. “Our actors are doing a great job of bringing this story to life and I think it will be an enjoyable thing for students to see.”

Additional performances will be tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

“The presentation is what makes it all worthwhile,” Jones said. “We all love giving our audience something to think about.”

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