Trustus Theatre to Present THE WHIPPING MAN, 3/12-22

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Trustus Theatre's Off-Off Lady Series is a collection of productions chosen to go out into the community and bring quality performances to unexpected venues around Columbia, and Trustus is continuing the series by partnering with The NiA Company and the Columbia Music Festival Association (CMFA). Matthew Lopez's stirring script The Whipping Man comes to life at CMFA on March 12th at 7:30pm, and runs through March 22nd, 2013.

The NiA Company has provided quality theatre for more than 16 years in venues throughout South Carolina. NiA is a diverse, multi-talented Acting Company whose primary mission is to make theatre accessible to all audiences. Now, NiA has been working tirelessly to enter the next era of boundary-pushing performances with Matthew Lopez's The Whipping Man - winner of the 2011 John Gassner New Play Award from the NY Outer Critics Circle.

It is Passover, 1865. The Civil War has just ended and the annual celebration of freedom from bondage is being observed in Jewish homes across the country. One of these homes, belonging to the DeLeons of Virginia, sits in ruins. Confederate officer Caleb DeLeon has returned from the war to find his family missing and only two former slaves remaining. Caleb is badly wounded and the two men, Simon and John, are forced to care for him.

As the three men wait for the family's return, they wrestle with their shared past as master and slave, digging up long-buried family secrets along the way as well as new ones. Slavery and war, they discover, warp even good men's souls.

Bobby Bloom (Next Fall, Red) plays the conflicted soldier Caleb who finds no solace in the place he called home. John, the house slave, whose history with Caleb is a source of pain for both, is played by Mario McClean. Many patrons will recognize McClean from Trustus Theatre's production of Passing Strang. He's also known around town for his musicthrough his work as the front-man for Full Color Footage and one half of the duo Major to Minor.

The cast is led by NiA's Creative Director Darion McCloud. McCloud is cast as Simon, a father figure to both John and Caleb. He was last seen in August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean at Trustus Theatre and Rumplestiltskin withColumbia Children's Theatre.This fall he created, directed, and starred in the original production The Story Squad (Once Upon a Time Remixed) at Midland's Tech Harbison Theatre. NiA and Trustus Company member Heather McCue will co-direct with McCloud.

The Whipping Man opens March 12th at 7:30pm at the Columbia Music Festival Association (CMFA), located at 914 Pulaski Street (29201). The show will take a break on the 15th to observe Sabbath. The returns on the 16th, and then runs March 19th - 22nd, 2013. All shows are at 7:30pm Tickets are $10.00 general admission, and are only available at the door. Payment may be made with cash or check. For more information, visit www.trustus.org.

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