‘The Whipping Man’ sheds new light on slavery in America

In the program for “The Whipping Man” — a play that runs at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte through March 9 — a guide translates phrases from Hebrew and defines Civil War-era terms. So, what’s going on? The work grew from the discovery by playwright and Civil War buff Matthew Lopez of a historical document that mentioned Passover beginning just after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Through the story of two former slaves and their former master sharing Passover Seder while discovering the meaning of family, the Actor’s Theatre production lets audiences take a journey through a seldom explored aspect of the Civil War.

“It’s emotionally difficult but uplifting at the same time,” said director Chip Decker.