An InterAct Commission & National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere

Dr. Harold Banks, an aging professor of Afghan studies in Nebraska, is reeling after his adopted daughter Getee is killed by the Taliban while delivering foreign aid. When Afghan refugee Nazrullah arrives at his door with an incredible story and carrying Getee's prized books, the two men form an unlikely bond. Each is searching for his own brand of forgiveness, but as their friendship develops, Naz accidentally exposes an unexpected source of Dr. Banks’ guilt. How might a CIA propaganda operation over 30 years ago have contributed to Getee’s death? Inspired by true events, HEARTLAND is a story of healing, connection, and the devastating unintentional consequences of our actions.  

A riveting drama... [that] triumphs in its directness and power.
— USA Today Network

by Gabriel Jason Dean
directed by Evren Odcikin

March 29 – April 21, 2019

Tuesday - Wednesday @ 7pm
Thursday - Saturday @ 8pm
Sunday @ 2pm

Running time: 100 minutes with no intermission

Special Support for HEARTLAND provided by

Honorary Producers: Gayle & David Smith

HEARTLAND is produced at InterAct as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Other partnering theatres are Geva Theatre Center (NY), New Repertory Theatre (MA) and The Vortex (TX).
For more information please visit



Tim Moyer* Harold

Nazli Sarpkaya* Getee

Yousof Sultani* Nazrullah

*Appearing through an Agreement between InterAct Theatre Company and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Creative Team

Gabriel Jason Dean Playwright Dirk Durosette Set Designer Tom Helmer Stage Manager

Evren Odcikin Director Maria Shaplin Lighting Designer Jess DeStefano Production Manager

Humaira Ghilzai Cultural Consultant Katherine Fritz Costume Designer Sam Volosky Asst. Stage Manager

Michael Kiley Sound Designer John Allerheiligen Master Electrician

Kat Wheary Props Designer John Kolbinski Audio Engineer

Special Events

Thursday, March 28 8pm - Pay What You Can Final Dress Rehearsal benefiting Afghan Friends Network

Pay What You Can (1).png

Be the first to see HEARTLAND, pay what you wish, and support a fantastic organization all at the same time! Cash only donations will be collected at the door beginning at 7pm. All door proceeds will go to benefit Afghan Friends Network.

Founded in 2002, Afghan Friends Network (AFN) is working hard to improve the lives of women and children in Afghanistan and empower educators in a country that has been ravaged for nearly 30 years by war and political strife. An all-volunteer, grass-roots organization, AFN efficiently provides support directly to the people who need it most, setting a high standard for fiscal responsibility and program excellence. 

Sunday, April 14, 1:30 - 5pm - PARENTS’ DAY OUT
Drama for you + Drama-Free For Your Kids! Presented by PNC Arts Alive.


While you take in our 2pm matinee, we’ll be throwing a drama party at The Drake, for potty-trained kids 3 and up! For $25 ($10 for each additional sibling), your child will enjoy 3.5 hours of theatre-themed daycare from Creative Caretakers.

Make your reservation with Creative Caretakers directly. On the day of, drop your kids off in the Arcadia Foundation Lobby at The Drake. We’ll escort you and your kids to our rehearsal room-turned-drama camp. Then you’ll head up to the show while your kids play downstairs! Stay for the post-show discussion or pick your kids up right after the play—either way, your kids will get quality care while you enjoy quality art.

To reserve, contact Amber Emory at creativecaretakerswanted@gmail.com with the subject line Parents Day Reservation 4/14. Caretaker payment will be made by cash, check or Venmo at pick-up after the show. Availability is limited, so RSVP Today!

To learn more about Creative Caretakers go to https://www.mz-initiative.org/creativecaretakers or their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/creativecaretakers

Talk Back At InterAct

Beginning Friday, April 5, join us after the show to dig into the themes of HEARTLAND through talkbacks after every performance.


Following our 2pm Sunday matinees, join Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin and an expert speaker in a moderated discussion examining the real world issues portrayed through the play. Our Speaker Sunday guests are:

  • SUNDAY, APRIL 7: Shreeyash Palshikar, Former US Government South Asia Analyst

  • SUNDAY, APRIL 14: Dr. Salman Akhtar, Psychiatrist - Jefferson University

  • SUNDAY, APRIL 21: Akbar Ahmadzai, Director of Language Access and Proficiency - Nationalities Service Center

Coffee Conversations

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, feature informal discussions with the artists and complimentary coffee from Rival Bros. and treats from Insomnia Cookies. Coffee Conversations during HEARTLAND will follow the 7 PM performances on Tuesday April 9, Wednesday April 10, Tuesday April 16 and Wednesday April 17.

Audience Discussions

Discussions occur after every other performance during the run beginning Friday, April 5. These will be facilitated by local artists and community members to foster conversation after the show, connecting the themes and events of the play to our larger community. Our audience discussions will follow the 8 PM performances on:

  • FRIDAY APRIL 5: Facilitated by Genevieve Amaral from Temple University’s Intellectual Heritage Department

  • SATURDAY APRIL 6: Facilitated by Kittson O’Neill, Artistic Director of Shakespeare in Clark Park

  • THURSDAY APRIL 11: A conversation with dramaturg & cultural consultant Humaira Ghilzai

  • FRIDAY APRIL 12: Facilitated by Cat Ramirez, Creative Director of Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists




  • SATURDAY APRIL 20: Facilitated by Core Playwright Jarrett McCreary