Playwright / Screenwriter


Heartland, a drama by Gabriel Jason Dean


-2019 austin critic’s table david mark cohen new play award

-2018 National new play network rolling world premiere


“…{a} heartfelt masterpiece rife with comedic brilliance and the triumph of the human spirit…” — Broadway World

"HEARTLAND lifts the veil between Western and Middle Eastern culture in a riveting triumphs in its directness and power..." — USA Today

“…a smart, funny, moving drama that is as emotionally textured as it is intellectually nuanced. “ — Austin-American Statesman

“Dean crafts with sensitivity, but not sentimentality…complex matters of international diplomacy and Western imperialism delicately into a tender, fraught father-daughter story…” — The Star-Ledger

Dr. Harold Banks is a retired professor of Comparative Literature and Afghan Studies, waiting for his adopted daughter to return from teaching in Afghanistan, her native country. When Nazrullah, an Afghan refugee, suddenly arrives on his Nebraska doorstep armed only with his daughter’s copies of The Diary of Anne Frank and The Old Man and the Sea – the two men become unlikely roommates. Set in both Maidan Shar, Afghanistan and Omaha, Nebraska Heartland is the story of a father, his determined daughter, and a journey towards mercy.

Cast size: 2 men / 1 woman.  Run time: 1 hour, 40 minutes w/o intermission