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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 www.acaciatheatre.com.

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 www.acaciatheatre.com
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