Cover photo by Darrett Sanders

Walking to Buchenwald

Tom Jacobson

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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.

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (3 female, 2 male, flexible casting, up to 4 women and 1 man or 4 men and 1 woman)
Full Length Dark Comedy (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“A story told with humor, subtlety, and emotional impact featuring characters you and I can recognize and identify with in a world gone increasingly mad, WALKING TO BUCHENWALD makes for yet another Tom Jacobson winner.” —Steven Stanley, Stage Scene LA

“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

About the Author


  • Tom Jacobson

    Tom Jacobson has had more than 80 productions of his plays, including SPERM at Circle X Theatre Company, THE ORANGE GROVE at Playwrights Arena, and the award-winning BUNBURY, TAINTED BLOOD, OUROBOROS and THE FRIENDLY HOUR at The Road Theatre Company. THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY WAY premiered at The Theatre @ Boston Court and the New York International Fringe Festival (five Ovation Award nominations, four Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle nominations, one GLAAD Award nomination, Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding Production of a Play, PEN Center Award for Drama) and moved Off Broadway to Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. MAKING PARADISE: THE WEST HOLLYWOOD MUSICAL was produced by Cornerstone Theater Company (Critic's Choice in Back Stage West). He has been a co-literary manager of The Theatre @ Boston Court, a founding member of Playwrights Ink, and a board member of Cornerstone Theater Company and The Theatre @ Boston Court. Most recent productions include the world premieres of THE CHINESE MASSACRE (ANNOTATED) at Circle X and HOUSE OF THE RISING SON at Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA (Critic's Choice in Back Stage West and Los Angeles Times, nominated for a GLAAD Award and winner of two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards). Film: PRAIRIE SONATA (based on THE FRIENDLY HOUR). Opera: HOPSCOTCH, commissioned by The Industry.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 1/18/2018
Pages 80
ISBN 9780881457490

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

WALKING TO BUCHENWALD was first produced by
Open Fist Theatre Company in September 2017

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Walking to Buchenwald is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


6/2/2023 – 6/24/2023
Cleveland, OH