The Whipping Man


Director, Roxanna lewis

Players by the Sea, FL

Written by Matthew Lopez

It is April 1865. The Civil War is over and throughout the south, slaves are being freed, soldiers are returning home and in Jewish homes, the annual celebration of Passover is being celebrated. Into the chaos of war-torn Richmond, VA comes Caleb DeLeon, a young Confederate officer who has been severely wounded. He finds his family's home in ruins and abandoned except for two former slaves, Simon and John, who wait in the empty house for the family's return. As the three men wait for signs of life to return to the city, they wrestle with their shared past, the bitter irony of Jewish slave-owning and the reality of the new world in which they find themselves. The sun sets on the last night of Passover and Simon - having adopted the religion of his masters - prepares a humble Seder to observe the ancient celebration of the freeing of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, noting with particular satisfaction the parallels to their current situation. But the pain of their enslavement will not be soothed by this tradition, and deep-buried secrets from the past refuse to be hidden forever as the play comes to its shocking climax.



“Lewis’ passion for powerful material makes her the perfect choice to direct The Whipping Man…"
-BUZZ Magazine


“If you are a theatergoer who wants an excellent script, a director who thoroughly understands the intent of the playwright, soul stirring and flawless staging, and a stellar cast, then The Whipping Man is for you. Indeed, besides being a seamless blend of writing, direction, and acting, it is an educational journey…”

-EU Jacksonville


“The production [TWM] is directed by ROXANNA LEWIS, be sure to read her excellent Director’s notes. This is a drama that is not to be missed. Although some of the dialogue is humorous, it is also often painful, while thought-provoking throughout, as these three men face a future forever changed.”

-EU Jacksonville