The Whipping Man takes place during Passover in 1865, at the tail end of the Civil War. Passover, the annual celebration of freedom from bondage, is being observed in Jewish homes across the country, including in the DeLeon home in Virginia. Confederate officer Caleb DeLeon returns from the war, grievously wounded, to find his family has fled to safer ground, leaving two former slaves, Simon and John. The three men unite to celebrate the holiday and wrestle with their shared pasts as master and slave, digging up old and family secrets along the way. Slavery and war, they discover, warp even good men’s souls.
As the three men struggle to comprehend their new relationships at a crossroads of personal and national history, this story takes another look at the ideas of freedom and honor, the raw nerves underneath, and the cost paid for such lofty notions. It is an extraordinary tale of loyalty, deceit and deliverance.
The Whipping Man premiered in New York in 2011 to great acclaim and is one of the most produced plays in community theater since its premiere in 2011. Matthew Lopez was awarded the John Gassner New Play Award from the New York Outer Critics Circle for the play.
The Acting Ensemble’s production is directed by KC Matthews, with Marc Brown, Tiemen Godwaldt, and David Smith.
Please note: While The Whipping Man takes place in a harrowing era in American history, the production itself does not depict scenes of violence between slaves and owners.
After each performance, the audience is invited to stay for a talkback with the actors and director.
Tickets available online or by leaving a message at 574-807-0108