The Whipping Man
by Matthew Lopez
directed by Martin Benson
January 4, 2015 - January 25, 2015

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The Civil War has ended, leaving destruction in its wake.  As a raging storm illuminates what’s left of a once majestic plantation home, three Jewish men prepare for Passover—the owner’s son and his family’s former slaves.  Only one of them, Simon, remains strong in his faith, but it is threatened by truths about what happened in this house—and in their lives—during its antebellum days.  Stage and television star Charlie Robinson plays Simon in this compelling drama that ran away with New York’s Obie, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle awards.

Previews: January 4-8, 2015
Opening Night: January 9, 2015
Regular Performances: January 10-27, 2015

Recommendation: High school and above.  This production contains fog, haze and strobe effects.

Running Time: Approximately two hours including one 15-minute intermission.

Presented in association with The Pasadena Playhouse

Matthew Lopez is the author of The Whipping Man, one of the most widely produced new American plays of the last several years. It premiered at Luna Stage in Montclair, NJ, had its New York debut at Manhattan Theatre Club in a production directed by Doug Hughes and featuring Andre Braugher. The sold-out production extended four times—ultimately running 101 performances off-Broadway—and garnered Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards. Lopez was awarded the John Gassner New Play Award from the New York Outer Critics Circle for the play. Since then, The Whipping Man has had more than 40 productions worldwide. Lopez's play Somewhere has been produced at The Old Globe, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto and most recently at Hartford Stage Company, where his play Reverberation will receive its world premiere in 2015. His newest play, The Legend of Georgia McBride, premiered earlier this year at the Denver Theatre Center for the Performing Arts. His play The Sentinels premiered in London at Headlong Theatre Company in 2011. Lopez currently holds new play commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage, and South Coast Repertory. He was a staff writer on HBO’s “The Newsroom” and is currently adapting Javier Marias’ trilogy Your Face Tomorrow for the screen.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Adam Haas Hunter
Adam Haas Hunter (Caleb) is making his SCR debut. He is the co-founder of Poor Dog Group, a Los Angeles-based arts collective. Hunter has appeared in The Importance of Being Earnest and Cymbeline at A Noise Within; Prometheus Bound at the Getty Villa; The Nether at Kirk Douglas Theatre; The Government Inspector and Dark Play or Stories for Boys at The Theatre @ Boston Court; The Walworth Farce at Theatre Banshee; Medea at UCLA Live; and Romeo i Julia 1968 with Ulysses Theatre in Croatia, to name a few. His appearances with Poor Dog Group include Brewsie and Willie (part of RADAR LA), The Internationalists and The Midnight Sun. Hunter has won or been nominated for Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and Garland awards. He is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts.

Charlie Robinson
Charlie Robinson (Simon) is becoming a well-known face on SCR stages. His work at SCR includes Death of a Salesman, The Piano Lesson; My Wandering Boy; Fences, which earned him a 2006 Ovation Award for his portrayal of Troy; and Jitney, which earned him a Los Angeles Drama Critics award nomination for his portrayal of Becker. He is additionally proud of having been honored with the NAACP’s Theatre Image Award for Best Actor in a Play for The Old Globe’s production of The Whipping Man. Another theatre home has been the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is best-known for his television credits, as a series regular in “Night Court,” “Buffalo Bill,” “Love & War” and “Buddy Faro.” He has had recurring television roles in “Home Improvement,” “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” and currently in “Hart of Dixie.” His guest roles include “House,” “Big Love” and “Cold Case.” He is the CAMIE Award-winner for the made-for-television movies Miss Lettie and Me and Secret Santa. He also is heard on Los Angeles Theatre Center radio productions, such as Black Betty. His feature film credits are Apocalypse Now, The River, Gray Lady Down, Beowulf, Set It Off, Antwone Fisher, Even Money, Jackson, Steam, Natural Disasters, Sweet Kandy and House Bunny. See him soon in the feature film, Hoovey, to be released this year.

Jarrod M. Smith
Jarrod M. Smith (John) is making his South Coast Repertory and professional debut. He is an actor from LaPlace, La., a suburb outside of New Orleans. Smith attended and graduated from Southern University of Baton Rouge with a bachelor of arts in history in 2011. In 2008, while at Southern, he took an interest in acting and was immediately bitten by the acting bug. His interest and talents soon led him to the training grounds of the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where he worked toward a master of fine arts. Smith now resides in Los Angeles.
Creative Team
Martin Benson (Director/Founding Artistic Director), co-founder of SCR, has directed nearly one-fourth of SCR’s productions. In 2008, he and David Emmes received the Margo Jones Award for their lifetime commitment to theatre excellence and fostering the art and craft of American playwriting. They also accepted SCR’s 1988 Tony Award for Outstanding Resident Professional Theatre and won the 1995 Theatre L.A. Ovation Award for Lifetime Achievement. Benson has received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Achievement in Directing an unparalleled seven times for George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara, Misalliance and Heartbreak House; John Millington Synge’s Playboy of the Western World; Arthur Miller’s The Crucible; Sally Nemeth’s Holy Days; and Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit, which he also directed at Seattle Repertory Theatre and Houston’s Alley Theatre. He has directed American classics such as A Streetcar Named Desire and has distinguished himself in staging contemporary work, including the critically acclaimed California premiere of William Nicholson’s Shadowlands. Most recently, he directed a revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful and Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale and Rest (world premiere). Benson received his BA in theatre from San Francisco State University.

Thomas Buderwitz (Scenic Design) co-designed Tartuffe with Dominique Serrand last season and previously designed The Whale, The Prince of Atlantis, The Trip to Bountiful, Three Days of Rain, The Weir, Crimes of the Heart, Collected Stories, The Heiress, Doubt, Pig Farm, Bach at Leipzig, Proof, A Delicate Balance, A Christmas Carol (13 seasons), But Not for Me and the 2007-14 Galas for SCR. Other theatres he’s designed for include the Goodman Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Intiman Theatre, Artists Repertory, Laguna Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Reprise Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Rubicon Theatre Company, Theatre @ Boston Court, A Noise Within, Antaeus Company, PCPA Theaterfest and San Diego Repertory, among many others. Buderwitz has received four Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards and three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. His television designs include specials and series for every major broadcast and cable network. He has been honored with three Emmy Award nominations and an Art Directors Guild Award nomination.

Angela Balogh Calin (Costume Design) returns to SCR where she has designed costumes and/or sets for more than 40 productions, including Rest, The Whale, The Trip to Bountiful, The Weir, Circle Mirror Transformation, Crimes of the Heart, Ordinary Days and The Happy Ones. She has designed more than 60 productions for Chautauqua Theater Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Old Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, Georgia Shakespeare, A Noise Within and many local theatres. She has worked extensively in film and television in the U.S. and Romania, and has design credits with I.R.S. Media, Cannon Films, PBS, Full Moon Entertainment and Romanian Films. Calin is a resident artist at A Noise Within Theatre. She graduated with an MFA in set and costume design from the Academy of Arts in Bucharest, Romania. 

Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz (Lighting Design) is a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and a professional lighting designer. He has designed for various regional theatres, such as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Repertory Theatre of St Louis, Syracuse Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, Great River Shakespeare Festival and Utah Shakespearean Festival. Among the productions he has designed at SCR are The Long Road Today (El Largo Camino de Hoy), 4,000 Miles, Absurd Person Singular, Three Days of Rain, La Posada Mágica, Ordinary Days, Saturn Returns, Goldfish, An Italian Straw Hat, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, Doubt, My Wandering Boy and Blue Door. His recent designs include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Repertory Theatre of St Louis, Venus in Fur at San Diego Repertory, Steel Magnolias at East West Players, SEED: A Weird Act of Faith for Cornerstone Theater Company, where he is an associate artist and Hamlet and The Merry Wives of Windsor at Great River Shakespeare Festival. He also was a designer for Universal Studios Japan. He is a member of the United Scenic Artist/IATSE—Local 829. His complete design portfolio can be found at

Michael Roth (Original Music/Soundscape) returns to SCR where his work has been heard in 55 productions, including The Whale and the world premieres of Rest, Mr. Marmalade, Wit, Brooklyn Boy (also Broadway) and Dinner with Friends and Sight Unseen (both also off-Broadway). His recent projects include two collaborations with Christopher Plummer, his one-man show A Word or Two (Stratford Festival and Los Angeles) and The Tempest (Stratford Festival, Bravo); many collaborations with Randy Newman including musical direction/arrangements for Disney’s Princess & The Frog and Faust (including the recent City Center/Encores concert version), and editing five songbooks; Jews & Baseball (documentary/PBS); many productions as La Jolla Playhouse’s resident composer; collaborations with, among many others, Stacy Keach (Henry IV in Washington DC), Culture Clash, Dan Sullivan, Des McAnuff, Sarah Ruhl, Mac Wellman, Anne Bogart, the United Nations and Tom Stoppard (including the American premieres of Indian Ink and Invention of Love); a Sundance film composer fellowship; and accompanying singers from Alicia Keyes to Alice Ripley. His opera Their Thought & Back Again is available via iTunes. His upcoming projects include his chamber music/theatre treatment of Beckett’s Imagination Dead Imagine, Fats November (piano sonata), and a new opera for YouTube. For more information:

Kathryn Davies (Stage Manager) previously stage-managed Tartuffe, Reunion, Trudy and Max in Love, Ivy+Bean: the Musical, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, Sight Unseen, Topdog/Underdog, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Doctor Cerberus, Ordinary Days, Our Mother’s Brief Affair, The Injured Party, The Brand New Kid and Imagine at SCR. Her favorite credits include Dividing the Estate at Dallas Theater Center; La Bohème at Tulsa Opera; The Mystery of Irma Vep at The Old Globe; Daddy Long Legs at Laguna Playhouse; Tosca and La Fille du Régiment at Opera Ontario; Of Mice and Men at Theatre Calgary/CanStage/Neptune Theatre; The Dresser at Manitoba Theatre Centre; Skylight at Tarragon Theatre; To Kill a Mockingbird at Citadel Theatre/Manitoba Theatre Centre/Theatre Calgary and The Designated Mourner at Tarragon Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Davies also has worked as head theatre representative at the Toronto International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, AFI Fest (part of the American Film Institute), Los Angeles Film Festival and as team leader at Sundance. 
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Scenic designer Tom Buderwitz had pretty clear direction when it came to the set for The Whipping Man: design with destruction in mind. But how did the creative process work from there? read more
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Playwright Matthew Lopez describes his parents as Civil War buffs; it’s no wonder that his first play, The Whipping Man, is set at the end of that conflict. read more
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