Indiana Backroads: Southern Exposure in Vevay
Tucked between the Ohio River and some of Indiana’s best hills, historic Vevay blends artsy, country, and quirky in a culture all its own.
It’s April in 1865. General Robert E. Lee has surrendered, and Southern soldiers are retreating home. For many of them, it takes days and weeks to return from Appomattox.The slaves are freed. And it just so happens to be a time that people of Jewish faith are preparing to celebrate Passover. It is also a sad time for African Americans as they discover President Abraham Lincoln’s passing.
Here, director Tim Ocel speaks to IM about the parallels to draw and complexities to consider among race, war, and religion in Indiana Repertory Theatre’s newest play, The Whipping Man. Ocel’s adaptation of Matthew Lopez’s Civil War–era play deals with these hot-button issues head-on, but, as Ocel explains, it’s important to take an active role in breaking down barriers by having controversial conversations. The Whipping Man, opening tonight, is sure to have audiences talking, but before that, we spoke with its director: