FAU’s Theatre Lab Announces the First Live Performance for 2021 With the World Premiere of the Audio Play ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

Monday, Mar 22, 2021

Theatre Lab, the professional resident company in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, has announced the world premiere of “Ich Bin Ein Berliner,” by Vanessa Garcia. This fully-produced audio play wascommissioned by and written for Theatre Lab.Theatre Lab will premiere the show to a limited audience with an opening weekend of in-person, socially-distanced outdoor “enhanced listening experiences” in the amphitheater outside of the University Theatre on the Boca Raton campus. The events will feature the audio, video and lighting effects, and live music. The three opening weekend events are scheduled for Saturday April 3 at 6:30 and 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m., and are limited to 35 audience members per event. Tickets for these events are $30 and also come with links to the streaming versions. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, April 2 at 5 p.m. at www.fauevents.com . You can also call 561-297-6124 for more information.

Audiences will also have two ways to experience the show streaming on digital platforms, “audio only” or “audio with visual companion,” featuring illustrations, animations and photographs designed to support the story. Streaming events will be available beginning Monday, April 5 and can be streamed at the convenience of the ticket-purchaser. Streaming is scheduled to end on Sunday, May 23. Tickets are $5 for “audio only” or $15 for “audio with visual companion.” Streaming t ickets can be purchased at  www.fauevents.com .

“Ich Bin Ein Berliner” is the true story of Garcia’s deep-dive into why the fall of the Berlin Wall was seared into her soul, as she watched it come crashing down on TV from her fifth-grade classroom in Miami. Led by the undeniable pull of her own Cuban roots, Garcia retraces her relationships to pop-culture, capitalism, Berlin, and her familial history, revealing the true interconnectivity of the world and the urgent need to share that truth, as Cuba itself dreams of a future unimaginable for the past six decades.

 “Vanessa’s story is as global as it is personal,” said Matt Stabile, producing artistic director of Theatre Lab. “It is a fascinating exploration of how the great events in the world can shape our individual lives, often without us fully understanding their impact until much later. With all we’ve experienced in the past year, and the horizon of our potential future just starting to clear, I believe this is exactly the type of story people need right now.”

This past fall, in response to the pandemic, Theatre Lab ventured into virtual programming by commissioning and presenting readings of new audio plays. After the success of the one-night only reading of “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” in October, Theatre Lab began moving forward with plans for a fully-produced version of the play for release on digital platforms. 

“Matt and I worked together on a few projects over the years and I’d pitched this story idea to him about a year ago,” said Garcia. “At the time, we didn’t know exactly how it would take shape, but when he called with this opportunity for an audio drama, I knew the time had come for this story to be told.” 

Garcia is a multidisciplinary writer and creator working as a screenwriter, novelist, playwright, and journalist. She has written for “Sesame Street,” “Caillou,” and is a consultant on “Dora the Explorer.” Her debut novel “White Light” was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. Named one of the “Best Books of 2015” by NPR, it also won an International Latino Book Award.

Her plays have been produced in Edinburgh, Miami, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, and other cities around the world. These include the immersive hit “Amparo” ”(“Miami’s Hottest Ticket,” according to PEOPLE en Español); “The Cuban Spring” (a full-length Carbonell Award nominee for “Best New Play,” 2015), “The Crocodile’s Bite” (a short included in numerous anthologies such as Smith & Kraus’ Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2016; the City Theatre Anthology 2015; and the Writer’s Digest Annual Award Anthology, 2015), and “Freek!,” a short play for Young Adults (anthologized in The Applause Acting Series’ 5 Minute Plays For Teens).

As a journalist, feature writer and essayist, her pieces have appeared in The LA Times, The Miami Herald, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Narrative.ly, American Theatre Magazine, The Huffington Post, ESPN, and numerous other publications. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California Irvine in English (with a focus in creative nonfiction), an M.F.A. from the University of Miami (in fiction), and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University (English and art history).