The plight of a confused and angry youth was on the minds of playwrights long before the shootings at Columbine high school, as evidenced by such works as This Is Our Youth, Stupid Kids and Naomi Wallace's drama, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek. The latter receives its New York premiere June 30, after having started previews June 11 at New York Theatre Workshop.
In Trestle, two teenagers plan to risk their lives in a race across a railroad trestle against an oncoming locomotive, which causes ripples in a small, Depression-era factory town.
Last week, Naomi Wallace won the prestigious fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The award, dubbed the "genius grant," carries a $240,000 prize with no stipulations as to how the recipient is to spend the money and is generally considered the most prestigious award a theatre artist can receive.
Trestle debuted at the 1998 Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival and certainly bore out that fest's stated theme: children at risk.
Wallace's best-known work is One Flea Spare, which played at the Humana Fest before winning the 1996 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and 1997 Best Play Obie for its mounting at the Public Theatre. Other plays by Wallace include Birdy and Slaughter City. David Chandler, Theatre for a New Audience veteran Philip Goodwin, Michael Pitt, Nancy Robinette and Alicia Goranson (who played Becky for several seasons on TV's "Roseanne") comprise the cast of Trestle, which is directed by Lisa Peterson. The latter's credits include a number of NYTW productions, including Slavs! and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire.
Designing Pope Lick Creek are Riccardo Hernandez (set), Katherine Roth (costumes), Scott Zielinski (lighting) and David Van Tieghem (sound).
For tickets and information on The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek call (212) 460-5475.
-- By David Lefkowitz and Sean McGrath