By JW McNay/campus editor

Guest director leads production

A Depression-era play that is part love story, tragedy and murder mystery is coming to the NW Campus theater April 18-22.

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek is set in rural America during the 1930s. The story follows a 15-year-old boy, Dalton Chance, and his family’s struggles as well as his relationship with 17-year-old girl Pace Creagan.

Thomas Ward is returning as a guest director for the play. The use of a guest director allows students to work with and learn from area professionals, said NW theater director J. Brent Alford.

“Thomas directed a very successful show for us a few years ago,” Alford said. “We are thrilled to have him back.”

Ward said this is a play he has always wanted to do, adding that he wants to stay true to the look and feel of the play as written by Naomi Wallace.

“I find the play to be just beautiful and haunting,” Ward said. “It’s a very poetic and quiet play.”

The characters have a loss of faith in the government during the Depression, Ward said, something which echoes today.

“It’s people who are lost and confused,” Ward said. “They have lost all faith in what they were told life would be, what they were told the world would be. And I sense that in our world right now and in our country right now too, regardless of your political stripes.”

NW student Tavin Bothel portrays Dalton and describes the character as an underdog trying to find some ambition. He said he enjoys using rehearsals to try new things while learning his role.

“Going out there seeing what works, what doesn’t,” Bothel said. “Often looking like a fool. Sometimes with something pretty cool.”

NW student Miranda Smith plays Gin, Dalton’s mother. Smith said she looked to her own mom for inspiration for the role.

“I was super excited when I got it,” Smith said. “I’ve always wanted to play a mother. That is my ultimate role.”

Smith said the role is one of her biggest yet. The serious tone of the play has been a factor for how she studies her lines.

“It’s a very grown-up type of play,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of stuff in it that’s very raw.”

Ward said the play contains a lot of adult language and situations intended for a mature, adult audience.

Dalton’s journey and the toll it takes on the character is unlike any other script Bothel said he has seen.

“It’s fascinating. It’s a bit weird,” he said. “But there’s something about it that just clicks and you want to see it from beginning to end.”

7:30 p.m. April 18-21 with a 2 p.m. matinee April 22 in
Theatre Northwest. Tickets are free for TCC students, faculty, staff;
$3 for senior citizens, non-TCC students; and $6 for general public.