Go to Ensemble Theatre’s new play and you’ll be transported back to the spring of 1865.
A Confederate soldier whose family was Jewish returns home to Richmond, Va. He’s badly wounded, his family is gone and grand house they lived in is in ruins, inhabited only by two former slaves, Simon, who raised Caleb, and John, who grew up alongside him. The slaves were raised in the family’s Jewish faith, and it’s time to observe Passover — a celebration of freedom from enslavement. In the heart of the fallen South, the three men come together as free men for the first time and must begin to learn new ways to behave. ETC is giving Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man its Midwestern premiere. ETC’s Lynn Meyers is directing, and she points out that “even though the Civil War ended, the story of American slavery and the struggle for equality absolutely did not. Lopez sheds fresh new light on an important and defining era in American history. This play reminds us that the struggle for human equality is universal and never obsolete.” $36-$42.