Virginia Tech Department of Theatre Arts presents the haunting "Trestle at Pope Lick Creek," by Naomi Wallace, directed by faculty member Bob Leonard.

The production will be in the Squires Studio Theatre located in Squires Student Center on College Avenue adjacent to downtown Blacksburg. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. from Feb. 25 to March 1 and 7:30 p.m. from March 3 to March 5.

Vivid and haunting, this is a coming-of-age story set in a small American town in the midst of the Great Depression, 1936. The play centers on two teenagers. Pace is a rough-and-tumble tomboy of a girl with a penchant for taking risks and pushing boundaries, and young Dalton, who finds Pace fascinating. They encounter and test one another, exploring their newly realized sexuality. In the midst of economic crisis, seeing little prospects for the future, their greatest excitement resides in the 7:10 train that crosses the trestle at Pope Lick Creek and the tempting proposition to face it down. Their adventures lead to devastating consequences and a surprising conclusion.

The cast includes Virginia Tech theatre arts students.

  • Catherine M. Capece, a senior from Richmond, Va., who is double-majoring in communication and theatre arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences will play Pace.
  • Eric J. Park, a freshman from Richmond, Va., who is majoring in environmental policy and planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies will play Dalton.
  • Kara N. Williams, of Sterling, Va., who is double-majoring in English and theatre arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences will play Other Pace.

Virginia Tech alums also on the cast are Todd Guill as Chas, David Colatosti as Dray, and Sarah Hoffman as Gin.

Bob Leonard teaches directing, stage management, and performance skills in the Department of Theater Arts. At Virginia Tech, Bob has directed more than 20 shows since 1989. As founding artistic director of The Road Company in Johnson City, Tenn., he created more than two dozen original plays reflecting the history and issues of the upper Tennessee Valley and Central Appalachia. Leonard is the lead author with Ann Kilkelly of “Performing Communities,” an inquiry into ensemble theater deeply rooted in eight U.S. communities. He is a founding member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) – the national coalition of ensemble theaters and a founding member of Alternate ROOTS (Regional Organization of Theaters - South). He serves on the training faculty of Resources for Social Change and was recently elected to chair the Board of Directors of the Christiansburg Institute Inc., an educational and cultural asset of the New River Valley.

Tickets for “Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” are $9 general, $7 senior/student, and are available in advance at the University Unions and Student Activities Box Office in the Squires Student Center, at (540) 231-5615, or online. Tickets may also be purchased, on a space available basis, at the door one hour prior to performance time. Convenient, free parking is available in nearby Squires and Shultz Hall parking lots.

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