Vanessa Garcia


Vanessa Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist working as a novelist, playwright, and journalist. Her debut novel, White Light, was published in 2015, to critical acclaim. Named one of the Best Books of 2015 by NPR, Al Dia, Flavorwire, and numerous other publications and institutions, it also won an International Latino Book Award.

Her plays have been produced in Edinburgh, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, and other cities around the world. These include 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 TimesThe Miami HeraldThe Guardian, The Washington, and The Southern Humanities Review, among numerous other publications. She’s also a Huffington Post blogger.

She holds a PhD from the University of California Irvine in English (with a focus in Creative Nonfiction), an MFA from the University of Miami (in fiction), and a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University (English and Art History).

Most recently she was a Sesame Street Writer’s Room Fellow. She’s currently a WP Theatre Lab fellow and Professor of Writing at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).

  • AMPARO, a site-specific, commissioned immersive theatre piece (February, 2018 in Miami; April, 2018 in NYC) about the story behind Havana Club rum and the family who owned it, and who it was stolen from. Work on this project is continual and into future.
  • 1000 Miles, a full length play. 2017. Developed through Playwright Development Program, Miami-Dade County,(2015-2017). Workshopped at The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis (2016). Reading at Gables Stage, Coral Gables, Fl 2017. Reading at Lake Worth Playhouse, Palm Beach, FL. 2017. Reading at INGENIO Milagro as part of year-long Reading series, Portland, Oregon, 2017. [1000 Miles is a play about what it means to migrate to a new place. It’s a play about survival, surveillance, nationalism, and the nature of opportunity. About the walls that block our path and the new doors we try to open to save ourselves and those we love].
  • ESTATE, a site specific devised performance, Deering Estate, Miami, April 2017. Worked as a writer.
  • The Space Between Us,  a Radio Play produced by WLRN, NPR affiliate, at the Wolfsonian Museum, March 2017. A play about two Cuban sisters, re-united after spending most of their lives on opposite sides of the Florida Straits. Inspired by poem read by Richard Blanco at re-opening of US embassy in Havana.
  • Freek, short play for young adults (YA). Part of City Theatre’s Short Cut Tour for Kids. Nominated for City Theatre’s National Award for Short Playwriting, 2016. Also, in Best Five Minute Plays for Teens, 2017 (published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, Division of Hal Leonard).
  • The Crocodile’s Bite, a Sam French OOB Festival selection, August, 2015. Anthologized in Smith & Kraus’ Best Ten Minute Plays of 2016; The City Theatre Anthology, 2015; and Writer’s Digest Annual Award Anthology, 2015.  Selected as “Best of City Theatre” in 2014 for their production Island Shorts.
  • The Cuban Spring, World Premiere at New Theatre, Miami, Fl. Oct-Nov, 2014. Nominated for Best New Play by Carbonell Awards. This full-length play is about an American Born Cuban grappling with her identity, her parent’s and husband’s secrets, as she tries to forge a new path to and away from Cuba. Workshopped at The Deering Estate in Miami in Sept. 2013, and Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dec. 2012.