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Friday, March 31, 2023


Drama students catch horror ‘Bug’

Vagabond Theatre Project, an independent company composed of members who hail from UH’s School of Theatre and Dance, is set to debut its biggest production yet this weekend.

Vagabond is currently made up of five proactive students — two actors, two playwrights and a technician — who wanted more out of their fine arts educational experience.

“We started as just a group of theatre students who were excited about what we were learning, but we wanted to really work at producing and directing, and even using some of our own playwright scripts,” company’s associate artistic director Colin David said.

The project, David said, aimed to give the participants the full experience of how running a theatre company “out in the real world” would be.

“The school’s been very helpful and supportive of us doing that,” David said. “It just basically gives us as undergrads a lot more opportunities to do what we love and what we’re here to study.”

“Bug,” a play written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts, is a story focused around the troubled and twisted mind of a lonely female whose fate is to meet a man who only further disrupts her life.

“‘Bug’ is essentially part-love story, part-sociological thriller in some ways,” said David, who serves as the director of the play.

“It’s a little bit of horror and gore, of how paranoia can destroy you, and what we give up of ourselves when we fall in love.”

David cited the current trend of success among horror movies in Hollywood right now as one reason why “Bug” was chosen as the company’s next production.

“No one is this area has done a ton of real horror on the stage, and I think right now horror movies are selling really well,” David said. “I think seeing it in real life is even creepier.”

Theatre performance junior Josh Hoppe, who plays the male lead Peter further elaborated on the dark and eerie nature of the show.

“It was the next logical step for the company because it’s a challenge. It’s very tech-heavy — there’s teeth being ripped out, there’s people being stabbed to death, we light ourselves on fire — it’s ridiculous,” Hoppe said.

Fans of horror and scary movies are urged to trade in a night at the movies and experience a live, on stage production that is fast, gritty and full of life.

“The audience will walk away thinking about it. It gets under your skin.

“It’s chilling; it bothers you. At the same time, it’s good because it’s mysterious,” he said.

“Bug” will be playing on campus at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Jose Quintero Lab Theatre in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center. Tickets are $5.

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