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  Play Details

The Whipping Man

Centerstage
700 North Calvert Street Baltimore

Why is this night different from all other nights? For three Richmond Jews—one a former Confederate soldier, two his former slaves—gathered around a makeshift Seder table at the close of the Civil War, age-old questions of justice and freedom find new and surprising answers.

Thru - May 13, 2012


Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes with 1 intermission

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  Review Round-Up

DCTheatreScene - Highly Recommended

Atmospheric and haunting, the play unfolds at the Head Theatre, almost like a desolate ghost story. Set in Richmond in 1865, the tumultuous close of the Civil War, in a derelict antebellum mansion with rain streaking the French windows, two slaves and their former owner, a Jewish ex-Confederate soldier, wrestle with the past and questions of faith, ownership, and the pungent essence of freedom.
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Jayne Blanchard


Baltimore Sun - Recommended

"... The play, which has received a taut, atmospheric production from Center Stage, seizes on this intriguing footnote to put an almost dizzying spin on the issues of bondage and freedom. There may be a question of how much historical weight is behind the idea, but the theatrical result is quite intriguing."
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Tim Smith


City Paper - Highly Recommended

"... It helps, of course, that Lopez has given Kwei-Armah a terrific script, an American version of Athol Fugard’s Master Harold. . .and the Boys. Like Harold in Fugard’s South African play, Caleb grew up as the surrogate son of Simon and the playmate of former slave John (Johnny Ramey) but was also the owner of both. Like Fugard, Lopez recognizes that there are genuine bonds of affection between the three men and that those ties have been poisoned by the master/servant relationship. Lopez stubbornly refuses to let the affection cancel out the poison, or vice versa, forcing love and bitter resentment to coexist in ways that are essential to the American experience."
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Geoffrey Himes


DC Metro Theater Arts - Highly Recommended

"...The Whipping Man is It is an incredible exploration into the factors of religious differentiation at the time of the Civil War as well as faith guiding the lost – like Moses guiding the slaves out of Egypt. Centerstage’s powerful production – filled with mesmerizing performances – is an experience you do not want to miss, especially during this time of year."

Amanda Gunther


ExploreHoward - Recommended

"... Fiercely intense performances by all three actors ensure that this unconventional story packs a punch. Kevyn Morrow as Simon is especially impressive, because he's able to suggest the rich mixture of emotions felt by a man whose skin color and religion both provide challenges for him."
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Mike Giuliano



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