Cross the threshold to Cleveland's up-close, and OUT there theatre.
Walking to Buchenwald
by Tom Jacobson
directed by Brian Westerley
June 2-24, 2023
Thursday-Saturday at 8PM
A soon-to-be-married couple, Schiller and Arjay, take Schiller's parents on their first trip to Europe. Using his personal experience as a jumping off point, playwright Tom Jacobson takes the audience on an ominously comic journey during which guinea pigs play cricket, dead bodies talk, and the two couples learn what it means to be American in a world that no longer admires the U.S.
Featuring: Emery Cohen, Nanna Ingvarsson, John Peters, John J. Polk, Carolyn Todd.
“Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In life, death, and in playwright Tom Jacobson’s world view, these familiar five stages to acceptance are missing the one that is most important for survival: Laughing. Life is funny. People are funny. If God exists, He, She, They, or It must have a sense of humor—however twisted and brutal. The ‘shattering comedy’’ Jacobson promises in the press notes for WALKING TO BUCHENWALD sneaks up on you … We know Jacobson has a deeper story simmering … The fractured core of the show’s universe reveals itself gradually. Naturalistic scenes and behaviors take on increasingly surrealistic elements. We start to wonder what exactly is going on. Is this the end of the world? Figuratively, the answer is yes. Literally? We’re not sure. But all bets are off. And yet … somehow, in a final, quiet, awful, loving gesture of human generosity, Jacobson gives us hope — and a lot to think about. BUCHENWALD is about identity. It takes a wide, nonjudgmental look at what it means to be a parent, a spouse, a child; what it feels like to be in a relationship with a partner who is your temperamental opposite; to be a liberal in a Red State; an American in a Trump-like western world; someone dying in a world obsessed with hollow positivity; and what it means to be a European shackled to an America teeming with reemerging nativism. Jacobson doesn’t seek to determine who is to blame for anything. None of us is to blame. All of us are to blame. Blame God. Whatever. This is our world. The way we live now, and the way we die. BUCHENWALD lingers long after the final curtain, its puzzles working their way into your dreams.” —Samuel Garza Bernstein, Stage and Cinema
What if theatre weren't a mirror reflecting the familiar, but an opening into unknown territory? What if there were no fourth wall?
What if, instead of going to the theatre to watch a play, you crossed the threshold into the world of the play to experience it?
Theatre that expands the imagination and extends the conventional boundaries of language, structure, space, and performance that challenges the conventional notions of what theatre is.
What sort of theatre would this be?