Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



Will Lebow & Jeremiah Kissel

The last two surviving Jews in all of Afghanistan attempt to continue their lives and find a purpose amidst the chaos and destruction of their country in Seth Rozin’s comedy Two Jews Walk Into A War…, directed by Melia Bensussen, at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, March 17 – April 10, 2011. Inspired by the true story of the last two Jews living in Kabul, Afghanistan, the only thing seeming to bind this small Jewish community together is that they both hate each other’s guts. Hysterically funny while at the same time amazingly poignant, this odd couple’s bold solution for rebuilding their community not only brings them closer to the essence of their faith, but, quite possibly, to each other. Tickets are available online at or by calling 978.654.4MRT.

The all-Equity cast of Two Jews Walk Into A War… features Elliot Norton and IRNE award winners Jeremiah Kissel and Will LeBow making their return to Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s stage. Jeremiah Kissel appears at MRT for the tenth time, having previously performed in A Moon for the Misbegotten, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Amadeus, Twelfth Night, Rumors, Round and Round the Garden, Table Manners, Betrayal, and Monday After the Miracle. Will LeBow has previously appeared in Twelfth Night and A Christmas Carol. Obie Award-winner Melia Bensussen returns to Merrimack Rep for the fourth time, after previously directing The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead, Aunt Dan & Lemon, and Something in the Air. The design team is Richard Chambers (Scenic Design), Judy Gailen (Costume Design), Dan Kotlowitz (Lighting Design) and David Remedios (Sound Design).

“The combination of two such terrific actors as Will LeBow and Jerry Kissel will make this darkly funny play a feast of wit and heart” say director Melia Bensussen. “Based on the real story of the last two Jews of Kabul, Two Jews… points out to us what it means to find meaning in the midst of complete chaos, such as war and racial hatred can engender. Add to this a vaudevillian ricochet at every turn – It’s great fun to work on this production, and I know it will also be a great treat to see.”

Seth Rozin

Seth Rozin is the author of several plays, including Men of Stone (Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play nominee), Missing Link (Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play nominee), Reinventing Eden, The Space Between Us, Black Gold, and Two Jews Walk Into A War…. Past productions of Two Jews Walk Into A War… include Florida Stage, New Jersey Repertory Theatre and Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Shadowland Theatre, Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, and InterAct. He has also written the book, lyrics and music for a new musical entitled A Passing Wind: The (Mostly) True Story Of Joseph Pujol, about the rise and fall of the world’s greatest “fartiste,” which will be premiered as part of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in April, 2011. Seth is the recipient of two playwriting fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the 2007 Smith Prize, as well as a 2002 new play commission from the Foundation for Jewish Culture. He is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of InterAct Theatre Company, where he has directed over 45 productions, including the world premieres of Thomas Gibbons’ Permanent Collection, Bee-Luther-Hatchee, Black Russian, A House With No Walls and 6221. He served as President of the National New Play Network from 2002-2006, and currently chairs the Philadelphia New Play Initiative.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 2010-2011 season is sponsored by Lowell Cooperative Bank. Two Jews Walk Into A War… is sponsored by Wannalancit Mills, an interest of Farley White. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


Jeremiah Kissel

Jeremiah Kissel (Zeblyan) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: A Moon for the Misbegotten, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Amadeus, Twelfth Night, Rumors, Round and Round the Garden, Betrayal, Monday After the Miracle. New York: An Ideal Husband, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Doll’s House, The Playboy of the Western World, West Side Repertory Theatre. Regional: The Sisters Rosensweig, A Month in the Country, The Cherry Orchard, Circle Mirror Transformation, Sonia Flew, Huntington Theatre; Henry V, The Accident and Three Farces and a Funeral, American Repertory Theatre; The Scene, Noises Off and Drinking in America, Lyric Stage; Hamlet, The Tempest, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Merchant of Venice, Actors Shakespeare Project; Little Black Dress, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; Shear Madness, The Charles Playhouse; The Odd Couple, Nickerson Theatre; The Chalk Garden, Sharon Playhouse; Table Manners, American Stage Festival; The Fred Allen Show, Cleveland Playhouse. TV/Film: The Town with John Hamm, The Fighter with Christian Bale, and the premiere episode of ABC’s Body of Proof opposite Dana Delaney. Awards: A thirty year veteran of Boston’s stages, Jerry is the winner of several Norton and IRNE awards, and in 2003 received Boston’s top honor, the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence.

Will LeBow

Will LeBow (Ishaq) Merrimack Repertory Theatre: Twelfth Night, A Christmas Carol. Off Broadway: Nocturne (Drama Desk nomination); Oliver Twist, Theatre for a New Audience. Regional: American Repertory Theatre, fifty-five productions including Romance, Full Circle (Elliot Norton Award), Oliver Twist, Romeo and Juliet, No Exit, Three Sisters, The Miser, The Birthday Party, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysistrata, Marat/Sade, Othello, Animals and Plants, Nocturne, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Three Farces and a Funeral, Full Circle, We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!,The Cripple of Innishman, The Marriage of Bette and Boo and The Merchant of Venice. Love’s Labours Lost, The Rivals, Sonia Flew, Huntington Theatre; Twelfth Night, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Shear Madness. International: Six Characters in Search of an Author, The King Stag, Taiwan Theatre Festival; Moscow Art Theatre. Film: Next Stop Wonderland, What Doesn’t Kill You, Second Sight. Television: Stanley, Dr. Katz Professional Therapist. Narrator: Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Casey At the Bat, A Kennedy Legacy, Boston Pops, Keith Lockhart conducting; Ariadne Auf Naxos, Boston Lyric Opera; Abduction from the Seraglio, Boston Symphony Orchestra.

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