Cheryl Foggo’s Pioneer Love Story Heaven Closes out NAC English Theatre’s 2022-2023 Season

Cheryl Foggo’s Pioneer Love Story Heaven Closes out NAC English Theatre’s 2022-2023 Season
Revival of Citadel Theatre production marks the latest Black Theatre Workshop’s Co-Curation work with the NAC

April 20, 2023OTTAWA (Canada) – As Black pioneers fled the southern United States, Canadian settlements weren't just the last stop; they were considered “heaven”. In one of those settlements – Amber Valley, Alberta – sharp-witted schoolteacher Charlotte arrives from Ontario to make a better life for her and her new students. But the memories she's outrunning may threaten what she's found, and her budding friendship with widowed farmer Ezra, forever. 

From the moment Charlotte arrives in the small town, she is not what Ezra envisioned. Not expecting her to be the outspoken and strong-willed woman she is, he learns to appreciate what she brings to the town, the community and to his life.

As award-winning playwright Cheryl Foggo’s comedy shares a fictional story of Black history in Alberta, Heaven draws on the little-known past of Black pioneers in the prairies. First produced in 2001, the play has recently celebrated new productions in Edmonton and Calgary over the past two years. The Citadel Theatre production from 2021 is being revived for NAC audiences.

The play marks the latest production in the two-year co-curation partnership with Black Theatre Workshop and closes out the 2022-2023 English Theatre season.


On May 5, the evening’s performance of Heaven will welcome the second Black Out night at the NAC this season. In addition to the performance, playwright Cheryl Foggo will be in person for a pre-show discussion. Following the hugely successful Black Out night in February, tickets for this evening will go fast.

NAC's Black Out nights are open invitations for Black audiences and guests to experience performances with their community and witness a show that reflects the vivid kaleidoscope that is the Black experience. As with every performance at the NAC, all audiences are welcome at Black Out night for Heaven.


An NAC English Theatre revival of the Citadel Theatre production 
Curated by Black Theatre Workshop 

Written by Cheryl Foggo; Director Patricia Darbasie; featuring Helen Belay and Christopher Clare; Set Designer Whittyn Jason; Costume Designer Leona Brausen; Lighting Designer Jeff Osterlin;  Sound Designer Wayne Hawthorne; Assistant Lighting Designer FengYi Jiang; Associate Sound Designer Effy Adar; Dialect Coach Caroline Clay; Stage Manager Renate Hanson.


For more information and showtimes, please visit:
For ticket information on Black Out night, please visit:

The National Arts Centre Foundation would like to thank Lead Donor, The Slaight Family Foundation, and Official Hotel Partner, Embassy Hotel & Suites. Special thank you to Margaret Fountain, C.M., D.F.A.(hc), D.H.L.(hc) & David Fountain, C.M. and to the Dr. Kanta Marwah Endowment for English Theatre.

The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation. 


Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) is Canada’s longest running theatre company dedicated to the works of Black and diasporic communities. BTW’s mission is to promote and produce outstanding theatre that educates, entertains, and inspires. The company strives to create greater cross-cultural understanding by challenging its audience and the status quo. Expanding the representation of Black Canadian artists, BTW bridges cultural divides – uniting hearts, minds, and communities.



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