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Brookfield Actress in Acacia Theatre's "Searching for David's Heart"

Feb. 19, 2014

Danette Buikema, a Brookfield resident, will perform in Acacia Theatre’s production of “Searching for David’s Heart,” written by Cherie Bennett and directed by Rob Goodman, founder and 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.

To prepare for her performance in the play, Buikema said, “I watched a heartwarming video of 2 people meeting each other for the first time - one who received the heart of the other's deceased teenage daughter. The grieving mother listened to her daughter's heart pumping strongly in the woman's body and just cried. Loads of tears.”

Buikema drew inspiration from many sources. She said, “Rob Goodman is masterful at creating the characters he wants the actors to emulate, which is important in a show with such a profound message. The hilariously funny lines in this show may at first seem incongruent with traumatic loss, but the playwright makes it work astoundingly well. The children in the show are incredible!”

“Claire Zempel plays a 12 year old character, Darcy (Dee Dee) Deeton, who believes it is her fault that her brother was killed. She is believable, raw & unwavering. Paul Budnowski plays her best friend, Sam, who balances her serious mindedness with a delightful sense of humor and smile, as well as a silly obsession to be a magician. David Sapiro, who is the narrator throughout the show, does an amazing job of wearing many, many hats, some quite literally,” Buikema adds. "Searching for David's Heart" because it is a “fresh, fun yet deeply profound show.”

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

Photo caption:Photo: From left to right: Danette Buikema, David Lopez, Claire Zempel, Jason Will, and Paul Budnowski in Acacia Theatre's "Searching for David's Heart."

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