Engage with Us: The Whipping Man

THEREP_THE WHIPPINGMAN (no credits)-page-001Now that our holiday musical is over, we are gearing up for our next production, The Whipping Man, taking The Rep stage from Jan. 23-Feb. 8.

A tale of faith in a time of war, the drama is set during 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 sits in ruins. As Jewish confederate officer Caleb DeLeon returns from the war, badly wounded, to find his family missing and only two former slaves remaining, Simon and John, the two men are forced to care for him.

In addition to seeing this thought-provoking drama, there are plenty of ways to engage with us about the content of the show. For The Whipping Man, the National Endowment for the Arts recommended The Rep for a $10,000 grant to support the production and to collaborate with community partners on related audience engagement activities.

Here is a rundown of the community engagement events the public can take part in:

Wednesday, January 21 and Thursday, January 22 | 6:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
A preshow talk will take place on the set of The Whipping Man with Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp and members of the creative team.

Thursday, January 22 | 12 – 1 p.m.
Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock

Join Rep Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp as he hosts the cast from The Rep’s production of The Whipping Man for a panel discussion on this post-Civil War drama.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre works in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service to participate in their Distinguished Speaker Series, hosting educational panel discussions on various Rep productions. The panel discussions are led by Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp and include insights from guest directors, actors and Bob himself on bringing compelling stories to The Rep stage. Call the Clinton School at (501) 683-5239 for reservations.

Friday, January 23 | 8 p.m.
Opening Night for The Whipping Man will include a post-show reception with the cast immediately following the show. Complimentary champagne and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

The World Turned Upside Down: The South at the End
Member Night with Dr. Carl Moneyhon

Monday, January 26 | 5:30 p.m.
Dr. Carl Moneyhon, a Civil War expert with the UALR History Department, will discuss historical content relative to this production. Admission for members is free, while non-members are $10. Call the Box Office at (501) 378-0405 to reserve your spot!

Talk-Back Series
Thursday, January 29 and Thursday, February 5 | 9:30 p.m.
Post-show discussions that explore the themes present in this production.

It’s in the Bag: Lunch ‘n Learn Series at Mosaic Templars
Tuesday, February 3 | 11:30 a.m.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W. 9th St., Little Rock
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center’s quarterly lunchtime series will be a panel discussion, moderated by Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp, featuring The Whipping Man cast, alongside Jim Pfeifer, AIA.  After the discussion, tour MTCC’s new exhibit, “Freedom! Oh, Freedom! Arkansas’ People of African Descent and the Civil War: 1861-1866.” Bring your lunch and drinks will be provided.

Live from Foster’s with Crossroads
Friday, February 6 | 6:30 p.m.
Get your evening started early with live pre-show music from Crossroads in Foster’s.

The After-Party
Saturday, February 7 | 10:30 p.m.
Stick around after the show for drinks and look for members of the cast to make an appearance at The Rep’s lounge Foster’s.

Purchase tickets to The Whipping Man by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405 or by visiting TheRep.org.

National NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman visits Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Joy Pennington, Rocco Landesman, Beth Wiedower, Bob Hupp and Warwick Sabin, NEA "Creative Placemaking" panel. Photo by Shelby Brewer, Arkansas Arts Council

Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Oxford American Magazine hosted a panel with the National Endowment for the Arts Chairman, Rocco Landesman on “Creative Placemaking in Arkansas.” Arkansas First Lady, Ginger Beebe welcomed the crowd with opening remarks and Arkansas Arts Council Executive Director Joy Pennington moderated the panel.

Chairman Landesman was joined by The Rep’s Producing Artistic Director, Bob Hupp,  Director of the Arkansas Delta Rural Heritage Development Initiative, Beth Wiedower and Publisher of the Oxford American magazine, Warwick Sabin.

The panel focused on the importance of the creative placemaking and the power of the arts in economic development . “Our role at the NEA is to bring the world of the arts and the ‘real world’ together,” said Chairman Landesman.  “The arts is an ecosystem. The arts not only employee the artisans, it employees the restaurant owner down the street.”

“Since the completion of our 6 million dollar Capital Campaign, Arkansas Repertory Theatre has been an urban pioneer for the economic development of Downtown Little Rock,” said Hupp.  “We would love to have some company.”

Chairman Landesman encouraged “arts organizations to get out into their community.” By creating a community steeped in the arts “communities are more involved through civic engagement, ” said Landesman.

Hupp discussed the innovative ways The Rep brings the arts to Arkansans. “Our Shakespeare in the Park program takes place where are Arkansans are comfortable, their state parks. By bringing the arts to our audience we are breaking down barriers and creating a unique experience with our audience.”

The panel also touched on the importance of technology to promote the arts. “Websites help create a forum of dialogue among our rural communities in the Delta. These artists become resources for one another,” said Wiedower.

“The Oxford American occupies a niche-we protect and perpetuate the best of the Southern Culture,” said Sabin. From Southern musicians to writers to the culinary arts, Oxford American will “leverage the use of technology to broadcast our cultural significance around the world” using pod casts and programming on PBS.

For more photos from the panel click here.