Taproot Theatre will present The Whipping Man, opening on March 29.
Can loyalty and freedom coexist? A Jewish Confederate soldier and two of his former slaves are left to observe Passover together in the wake of the Civil War, prompting the challenging examination and reconciliation of the past while revealing the fear and uncertainty of venturing into a new future. Producing Artistic Director, Scott Nolte directs the Regional Premiere of The Whipping Man, which opens March 29 and runs through April 27, with previews on March 27 and 28.
The Whipping Man premiered off-Broadway in 2011 at Manhattan Theatre Club, for which playwright Matthew Lopez was awarded the John Gassner Playwriting Award from the Outer Critics Circle. Having rapidly gained in popularity, The Whipping Man is currently being widely produced throughout the country.
Matthew Lopez has been described as a, "foxhole Episcopalian from the Florida Panhandle, the son of a Puerto Rican father and a Polish-Russian mother," so it may seem peculiar that he write a play about a Jewish Confederate soldier and his former slaves, also raised Jews, celebrating Passover in the wake of the Civil War. Mr. Lopez said in an interview that, "We as Americans have to take responsibility for our past, even if most of us in the country today are not descendants of slaveholders." The important question he wanted to look at is universal: What do we do now?
Amidst the stark reality of war, the setting of The Whipping Man is historic, but the questions have never been more current. Taproot Theatre is excited to share stories like this that challenge the reexamination our nation's past in order to truly understand our nation's present and is partnering with the John Perkins Center for Reconciliation at Seattle Pacific University and the Anti-Defamation League in effort to aid in the discussion of these important issues.
Taproot Theatre's Regional Premiere of The Whipping Man is directed by Producing Artistic Director, Scott Nolte and features Seattle's veteran actor, William Hall, Jr., as well as Ryan Childers and Tyler Trerise. The production team includes scenic and sound designer Mark Lund, costume designer Sarah Burch Gordon and lighting designer Andrew Duff. Claire Branch serves as stage manager, Ellory Hartnett as dialect coach and Sonja Lowe as dramaturg.
Note: This play is set within the reality of wartime suffering. It contains profane language and vivid descriptions of war and slavery. Recommended for ages 16+.