Thursday November 23rd 2017

“The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek”

Recommended “The times ;they aren’t a changing”! The current production from Eclipse Theatre Company’s year of Naomi Wallace’s ,”The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” is a story that takes place during a very “down” time in our economy. The year, 1936 a time when our country went from Hoover to Roosevelt and the crash. People were out of work. Many, so depressed, they felt that life was no longer worth living. Fear and change were on the minds and in the hearts of the people. What were the answers? What were the prospects? This is what our country faced and in this story, our concentration is about teens having to “come of age” at a time that was scary for the United States. One can see some of the similarities that are facing us now. There is no WPA, but we do have high unemployment, welfare, people losing their homes and their savings. Some might even say that what we face today is even worse in that the rest of the world has taken over some of the power that we once yielded. But, Americans, who want true answers- the black and white answers, have learned that they must accept the “gray answers” and keep their hope alive.

Wallace covers this in her beautiful story but adds to it a young teenage boy, Dalton ( a powerful and energetic portraylaby Matt Farabee) and his adventure with an older girl, Pace ( a strong character played with great intensity by Marissa Cowsill). These two performers truly tell the story of innocence and love and how the untouchable can become one. While the story is mostly about their relationship and what happens as they prepare to climb to the top of the trestle and race against the train. What happens is a development of love between these two youngsters, but one with a somewhat interesting twist. Much of the play is done in flashback revealing what has happened to Pace and Dalton. Interestingly, Dalton’s cell-mate in prison is the father of another yungster who had a relationship with Pace and is no longer alive, having lost his race with the train. A solid performance  by Sean Bolger. Dalton’s parents are played by Cindy Marker and the always reliable Kevin Scott. Their story has a strong impact on Dalton’s choices as well.

Director Jonathan Berry makes great use of the upstairs studio at The Greenhouse Theater Center, a small, intimate space on a marvelous set by Joe Schermoly. The trestle appears very real and one just might be looking at a train to cross over our heads. It works well as the jail cell and with a little creativity we can visualize the kitchen setting for Dalton’s family.His mother works at an unhealthy job ,his father never leaves the house, making shadow characters on the wall. These are people with very little and fear that it will get worse. The lighting effects (Lee Keenan) give us the feeling that Berry and Wallace have created and Josh Horvath’s sound takes us away from Lincoln Avenue to a small rural town that is withering away. No detail has been spared ( props by Chris Corwin and costumes by Rachel Lambert) as the story is told with style and grace and our minds are opened to the fact that  these people, have seen their American Dream fade away and now must find something new to believe in, or wither away as well. They need a reason to live and must find a way to survive until they find it!

“Trestle” will continue at The Greenhouse Theater Center located at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue through September 4th with performances as follows:

Thursdays,Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. ( running time 2 hours with a 10 minute intermission)

Tickets are only  $28.00, a bargain for theater of this quality ( rush tickets at half price, subject to availability one hour prior to performance) .Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 773-404-7336 or online at www.eclipsetheatre.com

Discounted parking is available at Children’s memorial Hiospital, just north of the theater. Public transportation is easy to use as well

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