Matter of Honor
By Michael J. Chepiga
Directed by Scott Schwartz
Originally produced at Pasadena Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA.
August 24, 2008 through September 30, 2007
About the Premiere Production: Matter of Honor is a multi-faceted and complex exploration into the nature of leadership, honor, and society's philosophical and political battle in our quest for truth. The play begins when an outside investigator is brought in to uncover the perpetrator of the severe beating of West Point's second-ever black cadet. Racism can be found nearly everywhere on campus, but a genuine motive for the crime is more difficult to discover. When the investigator surmises the cadet's injuries may have been self-inflicted, the play turns, and challenges the audience to search the young soldier's soul and reveal the true nature and intent of the actions in question. In addition to its probing account of the real-life events surrounding the investigation and trial, the play also reveals the latent effects of hatred and intolerance still existing in our country and its most honored institutions. Cut off by his imminent social network because of his uniqueness and set against impossible odds, Whittaker is simultaneously personified as both hero and suspect. Ultimately, the play examines the nature of leadership, and inspiringly shows how the caliber of a man's soul can redeem a corrupt society and affect positive change in the future.
Artistic Statement: Matter of Honor is particularly important to Pasadena Playhouse in accordance with our mission to bring new works to the stage that explore timely sociological, political and philosophical themes and questions through universally accessible story lines. The military has always been, and will always be, a dominant and influential force in American culture. Mr. Chepiga has taken a true historical event from this iconic setting and used it as a thread to create a new American play that is part suspense thriller, part historical drama and part philosophical discussion, all the while remaining engaging, thought-provoking and relevant for our current time. The most compelling element of this new play is that it does not offer an easy answer for us. Instead, it does what all great theatre should do by creating a platform and opportunity for communal discussion as well as individual interpretation and realization.
Director: Scott Schwartz
Set Design: Robert Brill
Lighting Design: Donald Holder
Sound Design: Mark Bennett
Costume Design: Maggie Morgan
Video Design: Austin Switser
Casting: Michael Donovan, CSA
Production Stage Manager: Charles M. Turner III
Assistant Stage Manager: Heathyr Verhoef
Additional Funders: Richard Willis and Martin Markinson.