Young Wauwatosa Actress is Female Lead in Acacia Theatre's "Searching for David's Heart"

Feb. 19, 2014

Photo: From left to right: Danette Buikema, David Lopez, Claire Zempel, Jason Will, and Paul Budnowski.
Claire Zempel, a Wauwatosa actress, plays the leading female role of Darcy in “Searching for David’s Heart,” written by Cherie Bennett and directed by Rob Goodman, founder and retiring artistic director of First Stage. Performances will be from February 28 – March 9, 2014.

A refreshingly comic drama centers on Darcy, a 12-year-old girl who feels responsible for her older brother David’s accidental death
To redeem herself, and reconcile with her brother, Darcy launches a cross-country search for the recipient of David’s heart. Just who and what she finds will touch your heart. This play is the Winner of the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices award.

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

In preparing for her role as Darcy, Claire says, “Darcy's perspective on losing her brother is unique, so I worked as hard as I could in rehearsals to understand Darcy and how she relates to the other characters.”

Zempel says, “There is a great sadness in accepting her brother David’s death, but in the end Darcy knows she is forgiven. Although there are a few other themes such as dealing with grief and facing fears, I think the biggest theme is forgiveness.”

Another one of the play’s dominant themes is discovering truth, and Houdini, the magician, reveals a way of finding it. Houdini is a primary character who is naturally and professionally a trickster, but he uses his skills to reveal how to find truth.

“I think Darcy is interesting because she is dealing with so many different emotions all of the time. Houdini relates to Darcy in a way that no one else can, because he is facing a loss too. As you watch the play you realize that Houdini is more than just a magician,” says Zempel.

Another major character is Sam. "Darcy's best friend, Sam, is a true friend and he really understands people. Everyone should have a friend like Sam," says Claire.

She adds, “People should come to see ‘Searching for David's Heart’ because it will surprise them. Though the story deals with tragedy and loss and forgiveness, it's also funny and magical.”

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

Performances will be Friday, February 28, 8pm; Saturday, March 1, 8pm; Sunday, March 2, 3pm; Thursday, March 6, 8pm; Friday, March 7, 8pm; Saturday, March 8, 4pm and 8pm; and Sunday, March 9, 3pm. Single tickets for the three regular season shows will cost $16, or $13 for senior citizens, full-time students and full-time clergy. More information is available by calling (414) 744-5995 or visiting

About Acacia Theatre Company
Founded in 1980, Acacia Theatre Company is an independent, non-profit, interdenominational group of dramatic artists who share a common desire to integrate art and faith by presenting theatre from a Judeo-Christian worldview. Through uplifting, quality entertainment, Acacia provides occasion for thanksgiving, growth and enjoyment, and the opportunity for Christians and non-Christians to consider their lives in relation to God. More information is available at
# # #

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» 10-year-old girl dies after freeway crash in Dane County 11/25

» Wauwatosa unveils convenient, affordable water online water bill payment options 11/25

» Wauwatosa East girls basketball team uses big second half to beat Wisconsin Lutheran 11/25

» Plenty of positives in Wauwatosa West girls' basketball loss to Kettle Moraine 11/25

» Wauwatosa East boys basketball team could battle for GMC title 11/25

» Wauwatosa West swimming team has bright future with talented underclassmen on the rise 11/25

» MacGillis, Barkow share Wauwatosa West boys volleyball MVP honors 11/25

» Wauwatosa West boys basketball team looks for improvement 11/25

» Sports Notes: Nov. 26, 2015 11/25

» Wauwatosa East volleyball season has solid season despite just missing another trip to state 11/25

» Wauwatosa Hurricanes return three state qualifiers — Danny Larson, Cal Hartt, Avery Weishoff 11/25

» Milwaukee County Zoo celebrates first birthday of young gorilla 11/24

» Wauwatosa stores set Thanksgiving, Black Friday hours 11/23

» Tosa's city health department earns national accreditation 11/23

» Free screening of 'Most Likely to Succeed' held Dec. 1 11/23

» Wauwatosa stores launch Small Business Saturday event 11/20

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Wauwatosa dealership taking 'extra precautions' after four vehicles were stolen Updated:  11/19

» Wauwatosa East girls basketball team has plenty of experience returning 11/18

» Wauwatosa East's Potter earns two team cross-country awards 11/18

» Wauwatosa West girls to field experienced basketball team 11/18

» Wauwatosa East's Ripple ends career with impressive showing at state swimming meet 11/18

» Wauwatosa West freshman Julia Larson does well at state swimming championships 11/17

» Wauwatosa West's Alicia Picard, Alyssa Piek, Nicole Mystrow earn top tennis honors 11/17

» Christian Laettner hoops camps at Wauwatosa East successful 11/17

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.


Local Business Directory