ABOUT THIS SHOW
In a seedy Oklahoma motel room, a lonely waitress begins an unexpected love affair with a young drifter. And then they see the first bugs… Tracy Letts’s mind-bending cult classic—a luridly funny tale of love, paranoia and government conspiracy—roars back to Steppenwolf.
We will raise the curtain once again on our blistering and extraordinary revival of BUG by Tracy Letts, featuring ensemble members Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood. Shut down one week before closing, this production’s return is our bold refusal to let the disaster of COVID rewrite our story. These stunning performances—and this award-winning production—will once again reverberate throughout our building and welcome back our audiences to the Steppenwolf they know and love: brave, brazen and defiant.
Learn more about our new discount programs, including $20 tickets, Pay-Your-Age performances, Artists & Essential Workers discount, and more.
Help us spread the word about Bug! Use #bugSTC on social media to join the conversation.
Vaccination and mask policy
Steppenwolf is part of the growing coalition of Chicagoland performing arts venues and producers that have agreed upon COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirements for all audiences, artists and staff through the end of 2021. Learn more about Steppenwolf’s policies at steppenwolf.org/welcomeback.
In addition, Steppenwolf will be offering the following reduced capacity performances for BUG, seating every other row and one seat on either side of each party: Sunday evening November 21, Wednesday evening November 24 and Wednesday matinees December 1 & 8.
Playwright Tracy Letts
Tony & Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright & actor Tracy Letts is the author of plays August: Osage County, Killer Joe, Superior Donuts, Man from Nebraska and more. Letts’s play Linda Vista had a successful limited run at Broadway’s Hayes Theatre in late 2019 and the Steppenwolf production of his acclaimed play The Minutes begins performances on Broadway at Studio 54 in March 2022.
Explore Nights—Be the First to See our New Campus!
BUG audiences will be the first to explore our new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, including enjoying a drink at one of our new bars and getting a sneak peek inside the new in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell. Our lobby spaces will open early on Friday, December 3 and Friday, December 10 starting at 6pm CT. Whether you’re seeing the show that night or not, we invite you to explore our beautifully transformed home.
Watch & Listen
If you want to learn more about the content of this show, please click below for specific content alerts. If you have further questions, contact the box office at 312-335-1650.
Stage Effects Advisory
If you want to learn more about the stage effects used in this show, please click below for specific effects alerts. If you have further questions, contact the box office at 312-335-1650.
$20 tickets, Pay-Your-Age performances, Artists & Essential Workers discounts and more. Find the right ticket for you.
Become a member
Experience the full season with added benefits, such as unlimited ticket exchanges, seating assignments before the general public and invitations to exclusive events.
Cast & Artists
- Author Tracy Letts
- Director David Cromer
- Scenic Designer Takeshi Kata
- Costume Designer Sarah Laux
- Lighting Designer Heather Gilbert
- Sound Design Josh Schmidt
- Company Voice, Text & Dialect Coach Gigi Buffington
- Artistic Producer JC Clementz
- Director of Production Tom Pearl
- Casting Director JC Clementz
- Production Stage Manager Christine D. Freeburg
- Assistant Stage Manager Kathleen Barrett
★ ★ ★ ★
“Thrilling—the greatest Bug ever. The work of fearless artists at the peak of their international careers. Brilliantly cast play… Smallwood has worked all over Chicago theater but I’ve never seen him do work quite like this. Coon… is every bit as potent. Tracy Letts’ seminal, skin-crawling 1996 work… is not for the squeamish” – Chicago Tribune
★ ★ ★ ★
“Carrie Coon, Namir Smallwood triumph… It’s tough to overstate the depth and breadth and sheer emotional intensity that Coon and Smallwood bring to their roles. Tony-winning director David Cromer’s magnificent revival… part noir, part love story, part psychological thriller… Bug is a snapshot of anxiety taken to extremes” – Chicago Sun-Times
“… a love story by the flames of Peter's emergent paranoia, and Agnes's willingness to believe or smoke anything that makes her feel alive… Bug still gets under the skin” – Chicago Reader
“Positively skin crawling… Coon and Smallwood give remarkable and ferocious performances that take the already buzzing and dark energy inherent in Bug to a whole new level. Bug’s reflection on the power of paranoia, surveillance, and conspiracy theories plays out with a fiery urgency… a terrifying and prescient night at the theater that left me buzzing” – Broadway World
“Buckle up and brace yourself. The obscenely exciting play by Tracy Letts… ‘Bug' has a subtlety and sureness of composition that testifies to top-flight craftsmanship” – The New York Times
“Tracy Letts’s creeper is bound to make your skin crawl… is one of the most intense theatrical experiences you’re likely to have” – Time Out Chicago
We gratefully acknowledge the sponsors from our 2020 production of BUG, including Julie and Roger Baskes, Amy and Cameron Findlay, John Hart and Carol Prins, Jim and Kay Mabie, Christopher and Eileen Murphy and Elizabeth Schubert.