The Department of Theatre and New Dance will present “The Whipping Man” written by Matthew Lopez and directed by professor Charles Julian White.
“The Whipping Man” is a drama that presents an awkward situation among the characters in the year 1865.
“The play is about a Confederate Jew who returns home after the Civil War to his two ex-slaves,” White said. “It is about establishing new relationships based on all the things that have gone on previous to his return home.”
“The Whipping Man” will debut at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, and will continue to run Feb. 24, March 1 to March 3 and at 2 p.m. March 4 in the University Theatre.
Julian White decided to put the play into production after reading the book.
Since race is a prevalent topic in today’s society, he thought it would be great to present it during Black History Month.
“I thought it was a great play about human beings, relationships, forgiveness and hope,” White said. “I just loved the play.”
The play will feature a complex story designed to captivate the audience regardless of context.
One element unique to this the play is the lack of characters since the performance only includes three actors.
Tristan Price will play the role of a confederate soldier named Caleb, Kevin Rhodes and Michael Kachingwe will play two ex-slaves named John and Simon.
“Each of the actors did an extensive amount of research into the life of a slave and the life of a slave owner,” White said. “Their job was to figure out who these human being were that lived so long ago in such a tumultuous situation.”
Putting the play into production took a lot of hard work and dedication from the actors to make sure the characters were portrayed accurately and passionately, and White believes that everyone is ready.
After many hours of rehearsals throughout the quarter, the cast and theatre department are excited to finally be able to present the play.
White says he can’t wait to see how the audience will react to the performances.
“I think the actors are ready because they have worked long and hard for six weeks,” White said. “And now it’s time for the audience to get a chance interact with the actors.”
According to White, this is a play about hope, forgiveness and people.
“If you love human beings dealing with their lives, then this is a classic example of how difficult it is for us to live together and overcome all of our obstacles,” White said. “I think that people are basically hopeful that all is going to go well in their relationships and in their lives.”
General admission tickets will cost $15, for students and seniors $10 and for alumni $12.
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