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?”
The Whipping Man, first produced in 2006, has gone on to win awards and become one of the most frequently produced dramas. It is an ideal play to start this look at governance themes, including “the establishment and implementation of policies that include the mechanisms required to balance the powers of the members with the associated accountability” to cite one definition of governance.
Joining Dr. Bostic in the post-play discussion will be Sam Erman, an Assistant Professor at USC Gould School of Law whose research includes constitutional change and U.S. race relations, and actor Charlie Robinson. Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening play and discussion on Tuesday, February 17th at the Pasadena Playhouse.