On Friday, February 7, African American Repertory Theater (AART) began its three-week run of The Whipping Man, the powerful Civil War-era drama by Matthew Lopez. Established in 2007, AART has staged award-winning productions almost exclusively in the Corner Theatre in DeSoto, Texas.

It is April 1865. The Civil War is over, slaves are being freed, soldiers are returning home, and the annual celebration of Passover is being celebrated in Jewish homes. Into the chaos of war-torn Richmond 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 an 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 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.

The Whipping Man opens on Friday, February 7 and runs through Sunday, February 23, 2014, at KD Studio Theatre located in the Stemmons Business Corridor, 2600 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 180. A preview performance will be held on Thursday, February 6. Regular shows are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

AART's production is directed by Willie Minor and will star Hassan El-Amin (Dallas Theater Center Resident Company Member), Christian Taylor and Christopher Dontrel Piper.

For all ticket information, please visit the AART website at, email, or call (972) 572-0998. AART produces engaging, culturally diverse theater, while educating the community on African American history and the arts.

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