Did He or Didn’t He?

by moxielicious

Graphic Design by Tess Rigby

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek begins with a young man in jail who’s confessed to murder. We spend a good deal of time in the play wondering if Dalton Chance did or didn’t murder Pace Creagan, as the story jumps back and forth in time. Although the play doesn’t quite fit in the genre of murder mystery, the question still looms over the story as does that 560 ton train the central characters plan to try and outrun. This mystery has got us thinking. Why are we all so obsessed with murder mysteries? We’re not just talking about MOXIE, although our Artistic Director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg always surprises people when she reveals she often consumes crime novels for breakfast. We’re talking about humans. Why do we enjoy something so morbid?

An article published a few years ago in The Daily Beast claims our obsession is connected to original sin and our own personal guilt.

” We need forgiveness and someone to blame. So the story of crime fills our TVs, theaters, cinemas, computer files, and bookshelves. We are fascinated with stories of crime, real or imagined, because we need them to cleanse the modern world from our souls.”

But perhaps it has more to do with our need to believe there is an answer to every question and a right for every wrong. We get to play detective when we participate in a murder mystery. We search for an answer and take solace in knowing it’s unlikely the story will end without a conclusion to the mystery. There is a sense of order and justice we don’t always experience in our real lives. We like playing the hero and following along as order is restored. If you like playing detective too, throw on your trench coat, grab your pipe and handy dandy notebook (ok that was more Blues Clues than CSI) and head over to the theatre. The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek by Naomi Wallace is playing Sept 29 -Oct 28 2012 at MOXIE.

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