Westport Country Playhouse Hosts Reading Of Award-Winning Drama THE WHIPPING MAN

Westport Country Playhouse Hosts Reading Of Award-Winning Drama THE WHIPPING MANWestport Country Playhouse will present a Script in Hand playreading of the award-winning drama, "The Whipping Man" by Matthew Lopez, a tale of loyalty, deceit, and deliverance, on Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m. The reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Tickets are $20 each.

"While this beautiful play has been done all across the country, I'm pleased to be able to share it with a Connecticut audience," said Keefe. "It is shocking and moving, with moments of humor. It seems the perfect play for the Passover and Easter holiday season."

In the post-Civil War South, three men are tied to each other by history and faith, but are also bound by secrets. A badly wounded Jewish Confederate soldier returns home at war's end to find that his family has fled to the countryside. Remaining in the city mansion are two former slaves, also raised by his family as Jews. With Passover upon them, the three men unite to celebrate the holiday, even as they struggle to comprehend their new relationships at a crossroads of personal and national history.

The cast includes Shawn Fagan as Caleb (Westport Country Playhouse's "Appropriate," "Nora"; regional theater's "Romeo and Juliet," "The Misanthrope," "The Whipping Man," "Measure for Measure," "Our Town"); Keith Randolph Smith as Simon (Broadway's "Jitney," "American Psycho," "Fences," "Come Back Little Sheba," "King Hedley II," "Salome," "The Piano Lesson"); and John Clarence Stewart as John ((WCP's Script in Hand playreading of "Lobby Hero," WCP's New Works Circle Initiative reading of "The Biggest Valley"; Off-Broadway's "Choir Boy"; and Netflix' "Luke Cage").

Playwright Matthew Lopez's play "The Whipping Man" premiered in New York in 2010 at Manhattan Theatre Club. The sold-out production extended four times, and garnered Obie and Lucille Lortel awards, and the John Gassner New Play Award from the New York Outer Critics Circle. Other plays by Lopez include "Somewhere," "The Legend of Georgia McBride, "Reverberation," and "The Sentinels." Lopez worked as a staff writer on the HBO series "The Newsroom."

Director Anne Keefe served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse with Joanne Woodward in 2008, and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006, also with Ms. Woodward. She co-directed with Ms. Woodward the Westport Country Playhouse production of "David Copperfield," and directed many Script in Hand playreadings.

All artists are subject to change.

Corporate Sponsor for the Script in Hand series is Northwestern Mutual. The series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).

About Westport Country Playhouse

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training and performance opportunities through Broadway Method Academy, WCP's resident conservatory; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.

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