Acacia Theatre Presents "Heaven Sent" at Concordia University

March 3, 2013

An award winning play, based on the story of an abandoned girl and the reclusive man who helps her after she unexpectedly appears at his door, reveals optimism, hope and character in playwright Rick Whelan’s play, “Heaven Sent,” loosely based on George Eliot’s Silas Marner.

Dave Sapiro, who plays the role of Samuel Langley, was drawn to the characters because they “are exceptionally well-crafted; they are real people, not caricatures, but are people who are complicated and conflicted and alive.”

The playwright, Rick Whelan, agrees. “The hardships that the characters of ‘Heaven Sent’ face have, to a great extent, shaped their characters. Samuel Langley is the result of a great hurt he suffered early in his life. Eppie, of course, is forced to find the means of her own survival ... and that leads her to Samuel and their eventual redemption,” he says.

To bring authenticity to his performance as Samuel, Sapiro studied videos on the Appalachian accent and watched videos showing people having seizures, since Samuel is also afflicted with them.

“Samuel goes through a significant character change as the play progresses; he is not very nice at the beginning of the show, wracked with bitterness and distrust and guilt, but he slowly comes out of that, thanks to the love of a little girl,” explains Sapiro.

Whelan invites audiences to savor the story-telling medium of theatre. “I have sat in the audience at other productions and watched people actually tear up at the joy that these characters have managed to cobble out of a hard-scrabble life. I hope people will make this journey with these characters, worrying about their many tragedies and rejoicing at their eventual triumphs,” he says.

All performances will be given in Concordia University Wisconsin’s Todd Wehr Auditorium, 12800 North Lake Shore Drive in Mequon, Wis.

Be captivated by this story of a troubled man finding love through the simple needs of an innocent child. Winner of the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, the play is very loosely based on George Eliot’s Silas Marner.

Performances: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 8pm; Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 8pm; Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3pm; Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 8pm; Friday, March 15, 2013 at 8pm; Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 4pm and 8pm; Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3pm.

Single Ticket Information
Single tickets will cost $16, or $13 for senior citizens, full-time students and full-time clergy. Group rates are available in advance for groups of 10 or more. More information is available by calling (414) 744-5995 or visiting


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