January 27, 2015
by Donnajean Ward
A new initiative, Policy at the Playhouse, at Bedrosian Center recognizes that conversations about governance take place in many different fora and are voiced by many different communities. We said an enthusiastic “Yes!” to the opportunity to lead a post-show discussion at the historic Pasadena Playhouse after a performance of The Whipping Man, a play by Matthew Lopez.
The setting of the play– April 9, 1865, marks the end of the Civil War and, ironically, Passover, the annual Jewish celebration of Jews freedom from bondage in Egypt. The Sedar meal in this play is being observed by three men—two former slaves and their former slave-owner.
This provocative premise adds the question “what next?” to the traditional Passover question of “why is this night different from all other nights?” As Playwright Matthew Lopez says, “How…do you pass through the gates of a newly liberated Auschwitz and begin to live again? How, when the machetes are finally put away, does a Rwandan return to her quotidian routines? And how, after centuries of bondage, do slaves become free people?” (more…)