Special Events at Heartland

Playwright John Ficca brings an enhanced reading of his play to Heartland’s stage.


Presented at Heartland Theatre by John Ficca


Featuring the following well-known actors: Rhys Lovell, Cathy Sutliff, dave lemmon, connie chojnacki blick, nick benson, Todd Wineburner and jillian appel


Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 10 at 3:00 pm

$5 Donation at the door.  Reservations:  309.452.8709 or email boxoffice@heartlandtheatre.org

All proceeds are donated to Heartland Theatre Company


A FINALIST IN THE EUGENE O’NEILL NATIONAL PLAYWRIGHTS CONFERENCE in 1983. “Safe Like the Sparrow Hawk” was conceived and written in l983. It grew out of two experiences that impacted the life of the playwright. The first relates to his childhood, growing up in the steel mill environs of the northern Ohio Valley; the second to his service in Korea during the height of the war that raged there in the early l950’s. The play’s central dramatic theme deals with the return to the ethnic world of a young soldier, the son of recent Italian emigrants and examines how he and his younger sister must cope with a family crisis that impacts and strains against all their efforts at accommodations, and their efforts to restore harmony. Along the way, a mystery must be untangled and old world verses modern values must be reconciled



Dr. John Ficca

Dr. John Ficca

John Ficca, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the School of Theatre Arts at Illinois Wesleyan University, has directed numerous plays, from classical to modern. His areas of concentration at IWU were in acting, directing, theatre history and literature. He has also written a number of plays, in addition to the current “Safe Like the Sparrow Hawk”, which have been produced locally, including at Heartland Theatre, and in professional venues in other large cities.  His “John, John, The Miller’s Son” enjoyed two productions locally, one at Illinois Wesleyan and one here at Heartland. It was produced at the Detroit Rep Theatre where it enjoyed an 8 week run. Earlier versions of “Sparrow Hawk” have had a number of readings in a variety of venues, including New York City, and a fully mounted production in Chicago. In addition he has experimented with various other forms, including an experimental production of Strindberg’s “Ghost Sonota”, and several segmented adaptations of Shakespeare’s comedies.