Video Promo by Magic Spoon Productions: HEARTLAND by Gabriel Jason Dean, Vortex Repertory, January 17 - February 9, 2019

(Video promo by José Lozano, Magic Spoon Productions)

(Music by Nusrat Fateh, Ali Khan and Michael Brook - My Heart, My Life)


Dr. Harold Banks, a retired University of Nebraska professor of Comparative Literature and Afghan Studies, is reeling after his adopted daughter Getee is killed by the Taliban while teaching children outside of Kabul. When Afghan refugee Nazrullah arrives at his door carrying Getee's prized books, the two men form an unlikely bond.

Heartland draws a line from the “Cold War” to the “War on Terror” and demands that we reckon with the consequences of defending an American Empire. Set in both Maidan Shar, Afghanistan and Omaha, Nebraska, and inspired by true events, Heartland is a story of healing, grace, and connection.

Heartland was conceived and written by Gabriel Jason Dean as a direct response to the true story of the US government’s textbook propaganda contributing to the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. With the longest war in US history still ravaging Afghanistan with US involvement since 2001, we must continue to be engaged in public discourse on this devastating conflict.

The VORTEX is committed to producing "urgent, unashamed art," and Heartland is Gabriel Jason Dean’s most urgent piece. He excavates stories of race and class at the heart of our fractured country. In Heartland, he focuses on how we have spread a history of violence across the world. Government choices change the lives and break the hearts of ordinary folk from the fields of Nebraska to the hills of Afghanistan.

Starring Lowell Bartholomee (Harold), Kareem Badr (Nazrullah), and Kacey Samiee (Getee).

Directed by Rudy Ramirez, VORTEX Associate Artistic Director. Scenic Design by Ann Marie Gordon. Lighting Design by Patrick Anthony. Costume Design by Delena Bradley. Sound Design by David DeMaris. Prop Design by Helen Parish. Dari language coach, Hasti Ahmadi.

Stage Management by Tamara L. Farley. Photography by Errich Petersen. Video Documentation by Jose Lozano of Magic Spoon Productions. Monica Kurtz and Tim Ervin, American Sign Language Interpreters. Bonnie Cullum, Producing Artistic Director.

by Gabriel Jackson Dean
Vortex Repertory Theatre

January 17 - February 09, 2019
Vortex Repertory Theatre
2307 Manor Road
Austin, TX, 78722


January 17-February 9, 2019 8 pm 

Saturday, January 26--American Sign Language ASL-Interpreted Performance 

Free to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Audiences

Friday, January 31--Live Streaming

Wednesday, February 6 --Industry Night


The Eloise Stage @ The VORTEX

2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722

Free Parking. Bus Route.

The Butterfly Bar @ The VORTEX opens nightly at 5pm with full bar and hand-crafted cocktails.

Patrizi’s @ The VORTEX opens nightly at 5pm with delicious homemade Italian food.


Tickets: $35-$15

$35 Priority Seating  

$25 General Admission 

$15 Discount/Artist/Student/Senior/Veteran     512-478-5282

Advanced Reservations Recommended.  Limited seating.

Radical Rush Free Tickets: Limited free tickets for each performance in the spirit of sustainability, accessibility, and the gift economy. Radical Rush tickets released at 7pm each night-in-person only.

Blue Star Theatre: Discounts for Military, Veterans, and their families

2-for-1 admission: Thursday and Sunday with donation of 2 cans for SAFE Austin.