Walking to Buchenwald at Open Fist Theatre Company

Tom Jacobson’s shattering comedy illustrates the mutability of theater in Open Fist’s world premiere production.

Walking to Buchenwald

LOS ANGELESAug. 13, 2017PRLog — Two couples learn what it means to be American in a world that no longer admires the U.S. Open Fist Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Walking To Buchenwald, a protean comedy with shocking consequences by Tom Jacobson. Performances take place Sept. 2 – Oct. 14 at Atwater Village Theatre.

Cultural, national and gender identity; politics; marriage; death; and the mutability of theater are some of the many motifs that run through Jacobson’s deceptively sweet story in which 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 (like Schiller, Jacobson works at L.A.’s Natural History Museum, and he and his partner did take his parents to Europe for their 50th anniversary), Jacobson takes the audience on an ominously comic journey during which guinea pigs play cricket, dead bodies talk and an unexpected trip to a concentration camp leads to a shocking yet poignant conclusion.

Laura James (Gertrude Stein’s Ms Furr and Ms Skeene at the John Anson Ford, Murray Mednick’s The Destruction of the 4th World at Art Share L.A.) and Ben Martin (over 150 recorded books and 200 stage productions, on faculty at American Academy of Dramatic Arts) star as Midwesterners Mildred and Roger, she a retired schoolteacher, he a former theater professor.

Will Bradley (Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at A Noise Within, Stupid F*cking Bird at Boston Court) plays multiple roles including a bus driver in Weimer, Germany, the charming tourist town that is famous as Goethe’s birthplace — and locale of the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp.

In a stroke of non-gender specific casting that dramatically illustrates the extent to which acting can change a story, two women, Mandy Schneider (The Avengers, House, multiple theater credits in Chicago) and Amielynn Abellera (Captain of the Bible Quiz Team at Rogue Machine), alternate with two men, Christopher Cappiello (Death Trap at Sierra Madre Playhouse) and Justin Huen (Farragut North at the Geffen Playhouse, Electricidad at Mark Taper Forum) in the roles of Schiller and Arjay.

“Theater is a mutable thing, which is what makes it living and unique,” explains Jacobson. “Every night of a production is different, and every production of the same play is different. I love the idea that who you cast changes the way you feel about both the character and the situation. That’s something I always like to play with in my work.”

Walking To Buchenwald runs Sept. 9 through Oct. 14 with performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Preview performances take place Sept. 2 through Sept. 8 on the same schedule.Tickets are $30 for all performances, except previews which are Pay-What-You-Want.

Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Ave in Los Angeles, CA 90039. On-site parking is free. For reservations and information, call (323) 882-6912 or go to www.openfist.org.