THE WHIPPING MAN
APRIL 18 - MAY 20
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By Matthew Lopez
Directed by Jennifer Nelson
Designed by Dan Conway, Nancy Schertler and Ivania Stack
Stage Managed by Karen Currie
Featuring Mark Hairston, Alexander Strain and David Emerson Toney
1865; Richmond, Virginia: Two newly-freed slaves and the son of their former master—a Jewish Confederate soldier who has retreated to the burnt remains of his home—inhabit the disordered aftermath of the just-concluded War between the States. As the three men celebrate a most unconventional Passover Seder, they uncover a snarl of secrets and examine what it really means to be free.
|"Emotionally potent...surreal in the layers of meaning...a quiet force." -New York Times
"A mesmerizing drama." - Peter Filichia, Newark Star-Ledger
"A cause for celebration. Mathew Lopez has come as close as any author could to producing a microcosm of the genesis of a wide range of today's Black American males." - Bob Rendell, Talkin' Broadway
"Succeeds with an uncanny maturity in using sharply drawn characters and rich metaphor to wrestle Wilson-like with epic American issues of race, religion, and responsibility. Someone must succeed Wilson; it might as well be Lopez" - Tim Gihring, Minnesota Monthly
Matthew Lopez's play The Whipping Man was recently staged to critical acclaim at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Mr. Lopez’s work has also been developed at the McCarter Theatre, The New Group, Ars Nova and The Lark Play Development Center. Other plays include Tio Pepe (Summer Play Festival 2008), Reverberation, and Zoey’s Perfect Wedding. He is a current member of the Ars Nova Writers' Group and an artist-in-residence at the Old Globe Theatre.
Jennifer Nelson may be best known to DC audiences as the Founding Artistic Director of the African Continuum Theatre Company, where she remained Producing Artistic Director until 2007. While at the African Continuum Theatre Company, she directed nearly twenty productions, including Intimate Apparel,The Oracle, and A Raisin in the Sun. Other recent directing credits include The Soul Collector at Everyman Theatre, where she has also directed Gem of the Ocean, Slow Dance on the Killing Ground and The Pavilion among others; i at Ford’s Theatre; and the world premiere of Locomotion at the Kennedy Center Family Theatre. Ms. Nelson served as the president for the League of Washington Theatres for two terms, and is a current board member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG). She is also the Director of Special Programming at Ford’s Theatre, and an adjunct professor of Georgetown University.