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The shadows consuming “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek”

Darkness devours my existence as a single flame casts finger-shaped animals on the shadow drenched walls. A community hollowed out by misfortune and a lack of identity takes shape in “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek.” The characters came together to paint a haunting picture of two young souls trapped within their own emptiness. Dalton is arrested for the death of his reckless friend, Pace, and is forced to witness his life slowly spiral out of control in a series of flashbacks. The lights, staging, music and costumes add to the sense of despair throughout the play. My emotions entangled themselves in every scene, leaving me in a messy heap at the end. This unorthodox play is a roller coaster of passionate events.

TRESTLE cover
An excellent show! Photo from broadwayplaypubl.com.

Folk music breathed into my ears as faint red lights lit up the far corner of the room where the stage was laid out. The wooden trestle and a single white candle dripping wax on an aged wooden box cast shadows on the walls. The School of Dance and Theatre did a remarkable job releasing the eerie feeling that engulfed the audience. The multiple scene changes were assembled swiftly and with hardly any difficulty. Each scene helped portray a world in ruin and unveil some hidden traits of each character. The actors embedded a raw emotion into their roles that captured the audience’s attention.

The performers did an excellent job taking on the complexity of their characters. The raw emotions radiating off of each character helped enhance the overall feel of the play. Lindsay Taylor and Brandon Leatherland were a dynamic duo. Their chemistry on stage really brought out the internal suffering in each character. I was impressed by how each actor stayed in character despite the audience’s horrified reaction to the “adult content” within the play. The costumes brought on a certain roughness that hung over each character’s head and the dirt covered costumes worn in the play helped paint an accurate picture of each individual personality.

When the lights came on for the final time, I was in complete shock. The ending broke my perception of what was traditionally shown in theatre. The adult content of the play managed to have every audience member’s face twisted with horror and disbelief.  My feelings about the play were buried under six feet of bewilderment. After deep consideration, I realized the play was far better than I initially thought. The story line was brought to life by each actor’s breath and drowned out any uneasiness the mature content might have provoked. I was deeply moved by each characters need for identity and love. This play not only challenged one’s view of social interaction but also one’s view of himself or herself.

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek dives deep within the audiences mind and chains them to the edge of their seat. This play is drenched in complex characters and themes which are brought together seamlessly. This play is very well put together, however, I don’t recommend it for everyone. The play is lathered in adult content that can make a person feel uncomfortable, and I’m speaking from experience. Those who aren’t to open to strong language and sexual content should steer as far away from this play as possible. Doing some background information before watching the play is necessary in order to get a proper feel for the play. The play as a whole is a disheartened tale and I suggest it to anyone who is willing to step outside their comfort zone.

4/5 stars.