Way to Heaven (Himmelweg) is based on the notorious true story of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where the Nazis constructed a fake village to fool international inspectors and quell extermination rumors. Juan Mayorga's startlingly original play begins years after the fact with an account by the Red Cross employee who was there, then leaps backward in time to show the creation and rehearsal of another very unusual play, one in which the Jewish prisoners are assigned roles (Mayor, Boy #1, etc.) and given lines to say to the inspectors. The façade, written by one of the most ironic figures ever to appear on a stage - a witty, cultured, humanistic Nazi Commandant - and the Jewish prisoner selected to play the Mayor, this "play" will ultimately serve its purpose and the inspector will return with a positive review.
Although based on historic events, Way To Heaven is not documentary theater. It is a universal story about fear to take action, and our ultimate decision to overcome it or live in the apparent comfort it provides.
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