Playwright / Screenwriter

Heartland Press


"HEARTLAND lifts the veil between Western and Middle Eastern culture in a riveting triumphs in its directness and power..." -- Rochester Democrat & Chronicle USA Today Network

"...a beautiful and profound play...Gabriel Jason Dean takes a disturbingly real historic event and weaves a tale that transcends borders and time....not-to-be-missed." -- Beyond the Nest

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

“…flawlessly interwoven…playwright Gabriel Jason Dean’s riveting and recommended new play…plunges its audience into [a] personal and political tornado …the tormented history of the relationship between Afghanistan and the United States…” — Jewish Journal

“But no matter where in the world we are, the emotional geography is clear. The lesson…here is that the heart is its own country.” — Austin Chronicle

“…a true masterpiece…achingly beautiful in the way that the greatest art moves us to yearn, hurt and struggle….a play that belongs in the great works canon…” — Net Theatre Geek

“Dean holds a mirror up to the face of US involvement with Afghanistan from the time of Russia's occupation, exploring a myriad of questions about responsibility, complicity, transparency, and morality, and the unintended consequences that always follow from even the most noble efforts.” — Broadway World (Boston)

“…beautiful, timely…a must see for anyone who believes tolerance and humanity run deeper than political pamphlets.” — The Bay State Banner

HEARTLAND proffers a rare combination — it is a prescient history lesson that also works as compelling drama…avoids the trap of facile political point-scoring; his characters are real, and he trusts them to convey history’s ache.” — The ArtsFuse

HEARTLAND is a small miracle of a play…Dean has written the antithesis to the crude caricature that stereotypes the Muslim male Afghan in American imagination.” — CTX Live Theatre 

“Dean’s play is a small, quiet reminder of the possibilities that humans can… grow tolerant if they take the time to listen and learn, despite the cultural divides…” — MetroWest Daily News

“This new play, based on true events, brings to the audience an examination of complicity and accepting responsibility…has much to offer as we strive to understand larger sociopolitical issues in a personal way.” — Theatre Mirror

“It’s as haunted as Hemingway, as relatable as Anne Frank, and as sacramental as Rumi. HEARTLAND is a play that demands a reckoning and ultimately models healing.” — Sightlines Magazine

“I must emphasize how tight this play is…highly recommend…” — Broadway World (Austin)

“…recommended to the world.” — CTX Live Theatre

Austin Chronicle Feature

The Vortex with Humaira Ghilzai Interview

Boston Globe Feature

Geva Journal Playwright Interview

Geva Journal Feature

New Repertory Program Note

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle USA Today Network Feature

Rochester First Director & Actor TV Interview

New Repertory Interview

Playwrights' Center Interview

Geva Journal Humaira Ghilzai Interview