What does it mean to be a white American? What does it mean for any American to live in a country that is not the one you were promised? WHITE PEOPLE is a controversial and darkly funny play about the lives of three ordinary Americans placed under the spotlight: Martin a Brooklyn-born high powered attorney from a white-shoe law firm in St. Louis, MO; Mara Lynn, a  housewife and former homecoming queen in Fayetteville, NC; and Alan, a professor struggling to find his way in New York City. Through heart-wrenching confessions, they wrestle with guilt, prejudice, and the price they and their children must pay for their actions. WHITE PEOPLE, a new play by J.T. Rogers is a candid, brutally honest meditation on race and language in our culture.

J.T. Rogers (THE OVERWHELMING CATF 2008) returns to Shepherdstown with a sobering, unsettling but deeply rewarding look at a combustible issue many of us prefer to sidestep…WHITE PEOPLE will not be easy to sit through. It will raise questions as it challenges our assumptions about race. So…be a part of the conversation and join us in the intimate Performance Space in the Center For Contemporary Art at the 2010 CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN THEATER FESTIVAL. I am looking forward to having a lively conversation with you about this controversial new work.


Lee Sellarsplays Alan, a Manhattan professor who admires the determination of New York’s Dutch colonizers even as he acknowledges their persecution of Jews and Quakers. At the same time he is exhilarated, almost smitten, by Felicia, a black student.

Lee Sellars: Alan in WHITE PEOPLE

Margot White creates the role of Mara Lynn, a mother in Fayetteville, NC., who wrestles with memories of her cheerleader past; the faded athletic glories of her husband, Earl, now a delivery-truck driver; and the struggles of her young, epileptic son. Frustrated, she vents her wrath on an Indian physician. 

Margot White: Mara Lynn in WHITE PEOPLE

Kurt Zischke plays Martin, a driven St. Louis lawyer who bemoans what he sees as the decline of the English language and popular music. His disdain for his black secretary…and black culture in general…is pronounced.

Kurt Zischke: Martin in WHITE PEOPLE

Ticket Alert!    Several performances of WHITE PEOPLE are sold-out. Make your plans now to see this remarkable new work.

Ed Herendeen