The Whipping Man

The Whipping Man

Sponsored by:
  • Brown Forman

January 8 - February 2, 2013

Run Time: 2 hours

written by Matthew Lopez
directed by Meredith McDonough

At the end of the Civil War, a Jewish Confederate soldier returns to find his once-grand home in ruins, occupied only by two of his family’s former slaves. Confronted with a changed, uncertain social order, and bound by the history and faith they share, the three men must grapple with their responsibility toward each other and the secrets they hold. The Whipping Man is a moving drama about newfound freedom, the legacy of slavery, redemption and regret.

CAST OF CHARACTERS (In speaking order)

Caleb- Frankie J. Alvarez
John- Biko Eisen-Martin
Simon- Michael Genet


What the Critics are saying about The Whipping Man


“What makes this deftly told story distinctive are the voices that beautifully detail suffering and a struggle to make some sense of a world changing with the end of the Civil War.” – Elizabeth Kramer, Courier Journal

“She (Meredith McDonough) has brought together a strong cast and achieved solid staging on the round Bingham Theatre stage.”- Elizabeth Kramer, Courier Journal

“The original music that Chris Miller has created for this play; it reverberates between scenes with soulful and haunting string arrangements that maintain a sense of homegrown music and tunes of the mid-1800s.”- Elizabeth Kramer, Courier Journal

“An effective director can blend sensitivity and power without showing the seams, and McDonough pulls commendable and graceful performances out of all three actors, pushing some scenes right to the edge of horror while allowing the script’s moments of humor and delicate melancholy to sing.”- Erin Keane, WFPL Full Review

“Eisen-Martin delivers one compelling explosion after another as John…”- Erin Keane, WFPL

“The talent of the design team is evident from the top of the show, with the perfectly crumbled finery of Andrew Boyce’s set.”- Erin Keane, WFPL

“Lorraine Venberg’s transformation of John, who arrives in tatters and sports progressively finer duds as he loots the neighborhood, is especially effective.”- Erin Keane, WFPL

“Lopez’s powerful drama fits well into Les Waters’ first season as artistic director, which is shaping up to be an unflinching, unsentimental exploration of the power of family bond.”- Erin Keane, WFPL

“Sometimes a play is intended to keep an audience entertained. Sometimes a play is intended to make an audience think. The Whipping Man is intended to do both.

And it does both.

Very. Very. Well”- Michelle Rynbrandt, Full Review

“This is a powerhouse production. The emotion, the vocal energy and the synergy of the cast is palpable.”- Michelle Rynbrandt,

“Director Meredith McDonough has mined a gem in this cast. Genet, Alvarez and Eisen-Martin have developed characters with a multitude of layers; all of whom manage to keep a sense of humor in the midst of a world literally crumbling around them.”- Michelle Rynbrandt,



For Accessibility information, call the Box Office at 502-584-1205 or email

Actors Theater of Louisville
316 West Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Box Office: 502.584.1205
502.371.0956 TDD

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