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5 Things You Didn't Know About Our Production of "Trestle at Pope Lick Creek"

Many people can attest to the fact that there is magic in live performance. It’s special. Sharing a seat next to a friend while you watch an ensemble of artists bring to life a story is unique. It is a shared experience that is often not found in other art forms. But the “final product” is usually the only thing the audience gets to be a part of.

But what about the process? What about the magic that the audience never gets to see? Catalyst Arts ATL is dedicated to the idea that the final product is only part of what makes theatre great. Catalyst values the art-making process and believes that it is just as important as the art itself. Within the process exist subtleties and unique choices that the audience often never learns about. This is unfortunate as knowledge of the process can often make the final product that much more special.


So here are 5 things about our process that make our production completely unique:

Our set is almost entirely recycled from found materials.

Instead of buying new lumber, Catalyst’s set designer Joel Coady chose to create all of the furniture, crates, and iconic trestle from found pallets and old lumber. This offered an authentic feel that added to the time period of the play while also being eco-friendly.

All images of the Trestle are of the ACTUAL Trestle in Kentucky

Naomi Wallace wrote this play about an actual trestle in Pope Lick, Kentucky. This infamous trestle has much folk lore surrounding it (including a monster that lives underneath). Back in August our director A. Julian Verner and lead actor Barrett Doyle took an impromptu trip to see this the trestle at Pope Lick Creek with their own eyes. Film footage and tons of images were taken during Barrett and Julian’s trip to Kentucky, and Catalyst found it imperative to use these actual images of the trestle on our printed materials. Anytime you see an image of the trestle, just know that it’s the real deal.

Original music was written for specific moments in the play

Local artist and musician Bennett Walton was asked to write original music for our theatrical trailer. This music was so inspiring that it is now used during the curtain call for our show as well. Bennett was then asked to take two moments in the play, which required singing by characters Dray and Chas, and write a 1930’s style tune to Naomi Wallace’s already beautiful lyrics. The authenticity of the music for this show added the right atmosphere, and was the perfect chance for Catalyst to empower a local artist work.

Have a listen to Bennett's work here. All work is copyrighted.

The Arts Exchange’s building is dated to 1930 only a few years before this play takes place

The old school that the Arts Exchange currently resides has a keystone dated to 1930. After some research, it was found that this school was actually part of an initiative by the WPA. Though “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” takes place in 1936, the time and history surrounding The Arts Exchange made it an ideal partnership for this show. The shared historical background of the building only adds to the historical issues evident through our production including unemployment and the WPA's work.

Majority of the costumes were hand-made right down to the boxers

Time period specific pieces of theatre often cause many problems for young theatre companies because authenticity associated with props and costumes can be costly. Thanks to the talents of Suzanne Holtkamp we were able to have handmade, time specific costumes. All of the ladies dresses were tailored and designed to fit the 1930’s, and even the boxers that Barrett Doyle wears as Dalton are designed to look period appropriate. This kind of detailing is often over-looked by audiences, but can really add the perfect authentic touch.

"The Trestle At Pope Lick Creek" runs through December 11th at The Arts Exchange.

Buy your tickets today at

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