The Let’s Get Working festival in honor of the life and work of Studs Terkel is not for another week, but the festivities have already started with Buried in Bughouse Square: A Studs Terkel Circus, which opened Thursday May 1st. You just can’t have a proper celebration without dancing, singing, cartwheels, standing on people, and hanging in mid-air.
So what exactly is Buried in Bughouse Square? The best way to describe it would be a collection of performed interviews. Elements of circus, Terkel’s actual interviews, and personal anecdotes from actors come together to create an introspective and heartwarming but upbeat theater experience. I won’t spoil all of the lovely little surprises tucked into the show (hint: oranges!), but just know that you should bring your sense of wonder (and be ready to use it). If you would like a more in depth account, read this article written by one of the actors.
While I don’t know much about Studs Terkel, the show introduces him as a man who was interested in people. He believed the value of a person’s life rested in the stories they told, rather than in accomplishments. Even in his autobiography he spoke little about himself, focusing instead on the stories of others. This production remains true to that side of his legacy, celebrating Terkel in celebrating others. The closest we get to meeting the man is through snatches of his voice between acts, directing our attention to yet another story. Which is quite fitting.
If you’re interested in storytelling, alternative forms of narrative, circus, or fun, you should check this show out!
Buried in Bughouse Square continues in Theater West at the Logan Center:
May 1st – 3rd, May 8th – 9th at 7:30 p.m.
May 10th at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
May 11th at 2 p.m.
The Let’s Get Working festival officially kicks off next week, and lasts from May 9th – 11th. You can find more information at the festival’s website. You can find more information about Louis “Studs” Terkel here.