The Whipping Man

Compelling tale of history, faith and secrets

Written By Matthew Lopez

Directed by Nancy Boyett

presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

January 19-21, 25-28, February 1-3
Thurs - Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2:00pm

In the post-Civil War South, a wounded Jewish Confederate soldier returns home to find his family has fled their city mansion, but two former slaves, raised by his family as Jews, remain. With Passover upon them, the three men unite to celebrate the holiday at a crossroads of personal and national history. “A compelling Civil War-era drama, filled with … unexpected moments of humor.” – The New York Times

Read our full press release here

* Strong adult language, mature situations and themes

Performance Schedule
The ten performances are:
Friday-Sunday, January 19–21
Thursday-Sunday, January 25–28
Thursday-Saturday, February 1–3

An Opening Night Gala with refreshments following the show is open to all who purchase tickets to the January 19  performance.

September 30, 1pm

More Information
Matthew Lopez - The Whipping Man

About The Director
When I was given this play to read well over a year ago, I had no thought of directing it myself. I was just going to give an opinion on it. By the time I finished reading it I knew I wanted to direct it. It had taken hold and I was excited about it, about directing it and getting deeply involved with it. It was that good.

Taking place during the days immediately after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the dramatic tensions are built in. But, there are many layers to the character’s interactions….so much more than ‘mere’ race issues. Equally balanced, no one character is more, or less, than the others. They are all equally flawed, equally human, and equally fascinating. Beautifully written, the script explores the secrets that each character hides, and delves into their past with each other, as well as how they adjust to what it means now that slaves are free.

I have learned so much in researching this play. We all have. The cast, myself and my Asst. Director have had the most wonderful discussions, with many more to come I’m sure. We’ve discussed our own experiences as well as the history behind slavery. Some of you probably already knew that there were Jewish slave owners in the south. I didn’t, and to read about that and discover the history has been engrossing.

Freedom and slavery are both addressed in this play, on many levels. Culturally, religiously, even through the personal choices we make. Ultimately what I love about The Whipping Man is that my mind is engaged as well as my heart. The story is a mystery of sorts, that we are privileged to watch unravel, and also a journey of emotion, an exercise in empathy.

I encourage you, the audience, to immerse yourselves in this truly rewarding tale of three men during a complex time in history that shook our nation to the core. I believe you will not be disappointed.

Nancy Boyett

Characters / Cast



Matthew Arscott

Stanley Coleman

Dawaun Lawler

Box Office


The box office opens on
Wednesday, January 3


reserved seat tickets

for seniors and students

Thursday performances (January 28 and February 1)

Tickets Go
On Sale

Season Pass Holders
Tickets available starting
December 27th @ 12:00pm

General Ticket
Tickets available starting
January 3rd @ 12:00pm

The Very Little Theatre
2350 Hilyard Street  •  Eugene, Oregon  97405  •  541-344-7751