Faith is the constant force that weaves in and out of our lives. Regardless of tradition, our beliefs are central to who we are.
In The Whipping Man, faith is tested in the backdrop of the war we know in the south as being the war of northern aggression, the Civil War.
In this tale, wounded Soldier Caleb (Jeremy Aggers) returns home to find his beloved plantation in ruins. He is physically and mentally broken and seeks solace in the familiar. As he attempts to go back, he realizes that times have changed: the lavish lifestyle is gone, the world of plenty is a mere memory, and his daddy’s former slaves Simon (Keith Randolph Smith) and John (John Stewart) are now free.
The one constant is his Jewish faith, of whom the ex-slaves celebrate in a Seder meal that coincides with the end of the Civil War. Even that faith is questioned by Caleb.
One continual them is how faith is tested and how do you begin healing the scars of the past and create a path for a stronger future?
This play has some very intense emotional scenes that evoke the passion brought up by the perils of war. It is ugly and there is no way to sugar coat the greatest conflict civilized man can have in war.
Directed by one of Atlanta’s own Alexander Greenfield, The Whipping Man is raw and complex but in the end celebrates humanity and the tenets of the Jewish faith. Don’t miss an opportunity to pause and reflect on life’s celebrations.
The Whipping Man runs through April 7 at the Alliance theatre at the Woodruff and for tickets and info visit: www.alliancetheatre.org