The Whipping Man

Press Release

About the Show: It is Passover, 1865. The Civil War has just ended and the annual celebration of freedom from bondage is being observed in Jewish homes across the country. One of these homes, belonging to the DeLeons of Virginia, sits in ruins. Confederate officer Caleb DeLeon has returned from the war to find his family missing and only two former slaves remaining. Caleb is badly wounded and the two men, Simon and John, are forced to care for him. As the three men wait for the family’s return, they wrestle with their shared past as master and slave, digging up long-buried family secrets along the way as well as new ones. Slavery and war, they discover, warp even good men’s souls.

The New York Times called it “A compelling Civil War-era drama filled with ... unexpected moments of humor.”

Director Nancy Boyett says “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.”

The production contains adult themes and some adult language.

The 3-person cast features Matthew Arscott as Caleb, Stanley Coleman as Simon, and Dawaun Lawler as John.

• Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. (except for the 2 p.m. Sunday matinées)

• Reserved seat tickets are $19; Seniors and Students are $15; Thursday performances are $15 for everyone. The ten performances are Friday-Sunday, January 19-21; Thursday-Sunday, January 25-28; and Thursday-Saturday, February 1-3.

• Tickets are available by phone through the Box Office from 2 pm-6 pm Wednesday through Saturday at 541-344-7751 or online at

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

• The VLT has 20 assisted-listening devices available on a first-come basis each night.



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