Depression and Recession – Our Intern Speaks

by moxielicious

Gottlieb, Harry, “New York Skyline”

MOXIE’s intern Liz is WICKED SMART. We never want to let her go. We asked her to give us some insight into Trestle since she’s been creating study guides for the show. After you read this, don’t try to steal her from us…unless you’re a grad school cuz apparently she thinks that’s worth leaving her unpaid job with us for.

Since reading the script for The Trestle At Pope Lick Creek my MO has been to bring as many people as possible to MOXIE to see this amazing performance.  I’ve been talking it up to friends, coworkers, and even trying to convince my parents to fly across the country. The problem is that every time I mention Trestle’s Depression Era setting, it has a tendency to kill the conversation. For many of my peers who are out of work or underemployed, and have been for much of the Great Recession, spending an evening watching a play about people struggling through the Great Depression doesn’t hold much appeal.

But “Grapes of Wrath” this is not. Nor is Trestle an overwhelmingly depressing reminder of present tough times for those of us who are struggling in this recession. Naomi Wallace’s award-winning work transcends the 1930s with characters whose struggles are identifiable and relatable. Two teenagers seeking to define their relationship with each other and the world around them; a woman trying to save her family, job and husband from the grips of the Depression; a man who has lost his job and with it any sense of meaning. The Depression setting was not off-putting, but rather provided context for universal conflicts; it could just as easily be a story about rural America in 1982 or 2012. It is especially relevant now as America lingers in the Great Recession, unemployment hovers at 8.3%, and much of our country questions the reality of the American Dream.

Trestle makes us wonder whether or not the American Dream of upward mobility and hard work translating to success still exists. Regardless of the answer, does that mean that all hope is lost, that we should give up and fade into forgotten history? Despite the odds they face, the characters in Trestle choose to move forward and not to give up all hope. Just as Americans survived the Great Depression, we too will move through the Great Recession. We have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves as a society and as individuals we will come out stronger in the end.

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek is playing now – Oct 28, 2012.  Learn more and buy tickets at www.moxietheatre.com/trestle

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