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Review: The Whipping Man at IRT

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David Alan Anderson in The Whipping Man at Indiana Repertory Theatre. - ZACH ROSING
  • Zach Rosing
  • David Alan Anderson in The Whipping Man at Indiana Repertory Theatre.

In Matthew Lopez's Civil War-era play, The Whipping Man, young confederate officer Caleb DeLeon (Andrew Ahrens) returns to his deserted Southern home to discover the now-freed Simon and John (David Alan Anderson and Tyler Jacob Rollinson) waiting among the ruins. What unfolds is a tense, vivid and bittersweet tale that takes place during Passover, which, in 1865, coincided with the end of a war and the assassination of a president.

Anderson anchors the play, at turns gentle and formidable as a man embracing his first days of freedom. Rollinson's brash young talent is perfectly suited for the role of the angry, frustrated and highly intelligent John. And Ahrens imbues Caleb with a naivete that makes his character both endearing and open to attack.

Deft direction by Tim Ocel is complemented by other smart, understated production elements, including an original score from composer Gregg Coffin.

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