Arena Stage Opens New Season With New Comedy


Karen Zacarias’ newest hot-button comedy makes its DC premiere on September 15th at DC’s Arena Stage.  Native Gardens,  a hilarious new play about the clash of class and culture that pushes well-meaning neighbors over the edge will be directed by Blake Robison. The screenplay has been called “razor sharp” by City Pages. Native Gardens tickets are on sale now and will run through October 22.

“I love Karen. As a playwright and a person, she is fabulous, talented and creative,” says Artistic Director Molly Smith. “I love how she can illuminate our modern lives with humor and sensitivity. She is a terrific comic writer and oh my, do we need more writers of comedy in the theater.

Named one of the most produced playwrights in the country by American Theatre magazine in 2016, Zacarías is an inaugural resident playwright at Arena Stage, where her previous credits include Destiny of Desire, The Book Club Play and Legacy of Light. Native Gardens received its world premiere in Cincinnati in 2016 (directed by Robison), and by 2018 will have received productions at nine different theaters across the country.

“There is something both primal and absurd at the root of feuds. And comedy is disarming; it can shed light on our foibles and allows us to examine ‘thorny’ subjects without getting defensive,” shares Zacarías. “I’ve always wanted to set a comedy in our unique backyard of Washington, D.C., and I hope the discussion goes all over the map—from mosquitos, mulch, and gardening to immigration, class, and privilege. Because there are some crazy neighbor stories out there, it proves that fact is always stranger than fiction

“Karen is one of the few playwrights who knows how to write really great comedy—in the spirit of the good old-fashioned comedies,” adds Robison. “There’s a heightened nature of the interactions between the characters, but there’s also lots of truth in it. We have the privilege of finding where those meet and tackling issues we’re all grappling with today in a big-hearted, relatable way

ABOUT: Good fences make good neighbors…right? From the outrageous mind of playwright Karen Zacarías (Destiny of Desire) comes this hot new comedy about the clash of class and culture that pushes well-meaning neighbors over the edge. Tania, a pregnant Ph.D. candidate, and Pablo, her rising attorney husband, move next door to Virginia and Frank, a deep-rooted D.C. couple with an impeccably trimmed backyard. But when a questionable fence line puts a prize-worthy garden in jeopardy, neighborly rivalry escalates into an all-out border dispute, challenging everyone’s notions of race, privilege and where to draw the line on good taste.


Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater

Performing Arts Theater

1101 6th St SW, Washington, DC 20024

(202) 488-3300


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