Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT
Native Gardens
Event Calendar

Native Gardens

By Karen Zacarías
Directed by Blake Robison
Co-Production with Guthrie Theater

September 15 — October 22, 2017
Kreeger Theater

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 very 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.

Native Gardens is generously sponsored by Beth Newburger Schwartz.


JACQUELINE CORREA (Tania Del Valle) makes her Arena Stage debut. Regional theater credits include Confluence (The Guthrie); The Women of Padilla (Two River Theater); Macbeth (Arkansas Repertory); Hamlet and the national tour of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (The Acting Company); Macbeth (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); and On the Verge and Sonia Flew (Contemporary American Theater Festival). Film credits include The Dog Days. Jacqueline received her M.F.A. from the Professional Theater Training Program at University of Delaware.

DAN DOMINGUES (Pablo Del Valle) makes his Arena Stage debut. Off-Broadway credits include The Undertaking (BAM/Next Wave); Locusts Have No King (INTAR Theatre); Wild Goose Dreams, Fidelis, and The Great Immensity (The Public); The Jammer and The Cherry Orchard (Atlantic Theater Company); and To the Bone (Cherry Lane). Regional theater credits include The Guthrie, Goodman, NY Stage & Film, Hangar Theatre, Passage Theatre, Long Wharf, Kansas City Repertory, Studio Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Florida Stage, Pioneer Theater, George Street Playhouse and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Film credits include Run All Night, In Stereo, Future ’38 and Suffer the Little Children, and TV credits include West 40s, The Blacklist, Law and Order and Royal Pains. Dan received his M.F.A. from the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

STEVE HENDRICKSON (Frank Butley) makes his Arena Stage debut. Regional theater credits include Cyrano de Bergerac (Folger Theatre); South Pacific, Harvey, The Falls, Antony and Cleopatra and Lysistrata (The Guthrie); 1776 (American Conservatory Theater); Murderers (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); A Christmas Carol (Syracuse Stage); Hay Fever (Pittsburgh Public Theater); The Matchmaker, and Both Your Houses (Asolo Repertory); An Enemy of the People (Barrington Stage); Mercy of a Storm, Blackbird, Crime and Punishment, and An Iliad (Chester Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Compleat Female Stage Beauty (Old Globe); and Much Ado About Nothing, Waiting for Godot, and A Doll’s House (PlayMakers Repertory). Awards include 2013 Berkshire Eagle Best Actor Award, 2009 Ivey Award for Best Production and 2005 Ivey Award for Best Performance in Cyrano de Bergerac. He is the founder of Audio-Visceral Productions.

SALLY WINGERT (Virginia Butley) makes her Arena Stage debut. She performed in La Bête on Broadway and the West End. Regional theater credits include over 90 productions with The Guthrie; Tartuffe (McCarter Theatre/Yale Repertory); Paradise Lost (American Repertory Theater); Six Degrees of Separation, Sweeney Todd, Master Class and Cabaret (Theater Latté Da); Hir (Mixed Blood Theatre); The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Rose and Woman Before a Glass (Minnesota Jewish Theatre); Sylvia and Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Jungle Theater); The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Theatre Pro Rata); Doubt and Vasa Lisa (Ten Thousand Things); Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); and Wit (Artistry), among others. Film credits include Brennan Vance’s The Missing Sun, North Country, Factotum, Grandfather’s Birthday (with Robert Prosky), Fargo, With or Without You, The Straight Story and Last Seen.

Guadalupe Campos, Oscar Ceville, Javier del Pilar and Christopher Rios join the company as supplemental ensemble.


BLAKE ROBISON (Director) is Artistic Director of Cincinnati Playhouse, one of the largest regional theaters in the Midwest, where he directed the world premiere of Native Gardens last season. He is thrilled to continue his collaboration with Karen Zacarías, having produced the world premiere of her hit comedy The Book Club Play and directed her adaptation of Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents at Round House Theatre, where he served as producing artistic director from 2005–2012. Other credits include productions at The Guthrie, Milwaukee Repertory, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Folger Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company and Vermont Stage. As an adaptor, he created successful stage productions of Jay Parini’s The Last Station and Alice McDermott’s Charming Billy.

KAREN ZACARÍAS (Playwright) was recently hailed by American Theatre magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S.A. Her Arena Stage world premieres include Legacy of Light, The Book Club Play and Destiny of Desire. Other plays include Mariela in the Desert, and The Sins of Sor Juana, and adaptations of Just Like Us, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, Into the Beautiful North, Oliverio: A Brazilian Twist, Ella Enchanted: The Musical and others. She collaborated on the libretto for Sleepy Hollow and Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises for the Washington Ballet, and has written 10 TYA musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. Karen is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage, a core founder of the Latino Theatre Commons and founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater.

JOSEPH TILFORD (Set Designer)’s Off-Broadway credits include Sing Hallelujah and Around the World in 80 Days. Regional credits include Glass Menagerie (Denver Center); Night of the Iguana (Resident Ensemble Players); Pride and Prejudice, Native Gardens, One, Victoria Musica, Stone My Heart and Much Ado About Nothing (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Jar the Floor (The Old Globe); Twelfth Night, Ah, Wilderness! and The Lion in Winter (St. Louis Repertory); Black Star Line (Goodman); As You Like It (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); If We Are Women and The Last Adam (Syracuse Stage); and The Dayton Ballet and The Cincinnati Ballet. His design work has been exhibited at the Prague Quadrennial International Exhibit of Stage Design and in a solo retrospective exhibit for the 50th Anniversary of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology.

KARA HARMON (Costume Designer)’s Broadway credits include assistant costume designer for The Crucible, Magic Bird, First Date and Memphis. Regional theater credits include The Legend of Georgia McBride (Marin Theatre); The Mountaintop (Trinity Repertory); Barbecue (Geffen Playhouse); The Rape of Lucretia (Wolf Trap); Ethel and God of Carnage (Alliance Theatre); Seven Guitars (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Much Ado About Nothing and The Comedy of Errors (Oregon Shakespeare); Safehouse (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Clybourne Park and The Trip to Bountiful (Hangar Theatre); Dot (Vineyard Theatre); and Seven Guitars and Broke-ology (The Juilliard School). TV credits include assistant costume designer on Netflix’s Daredevil and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Kara received her M.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

XAVIER PIERCE (Lighting Designer)’s Off-Broadway credits include Yours Unfaithfully and A Day by the Sea (Mint Theatre). Regional credits include Smart People (Arena Stage); Harvey and Native Gardens (The Guthrie); Fences (California Shakespeare Theater, Long Wharf, McCarter Theatre); The Mountaintop (Playmakers Repertory, Triad Stage); Red and Common Enemy (Triad Stage); A Raisin in the Sun (Westport Country Playhouse); Two Trains Running (Two River Theatre, Arden Theatre Company); Intimate Apparel, Peter and the Starcatcher, Detroit ’67 and 4,000 Miles (Playmakers Repertory); Fly (Florida Studio Theatre); Shakespeare in Love (Oregon Shakespeare); and The Glass Menagerie (California Shakespeare Theater). National and international tour credits include Drumline Live! He received a Handy Award for Best Lighting, Thomas C. Fichandler Award for Excellence in Lighting, Marvin Sims Fellowship at the Kennedy Center and was an Allen Lee Hughes Lighting Design Fellow.

SCOTT W. EDWARDS (Sound Designer)’s theater credits include Nice Fish (American Repertory Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse and West End); The Guthrie (120 productions since 1997); Seattle Repertory; San Jose Repertory; Children’s Theatre Company; Jungle Theater; Penumbra Theatre; Mixed Blood Theatre; Illusion Theater; Arizona Theatre Company; Ballet of the Dolls (founding member); Theater Mu; Eye of the Storm Theatre; Teatro Latino; and Minnesota Opera. Other credits include production manager and live sound engineer for A Prairie Home Companion. Awards include a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for The Kite Runner at San Jose Repertory, Star Tribune Outstanding Sound Designer for Pride and Prejudice and The Pirates of Penzance and a Helen Hayes Award nomination for You Can’t Take It With You at Arena Stage.

JANA LLYNN (Stage Manager) returns to Arena Stage where recent credits include The Originalist, Intelligence and Sweat. Broadway credits include The Drowsy Chaperone, Bridge & Tunnel, Company and The Moliere Comedies. Off-Broadway credits include SILENCE! The Musical, SHOUT! The Mod Musical, That Physics Show, Matt & Ben (starring Mindy Kaling), Dancing On Moonlight (starring André De Shields), Echoes of War (starring Frances Sternhagen), The Entertainer (starring Brian Murray and Jean Stapleton), The Shawl (director Sidney Lumet, starring Dianne Wiest), Beau Jest (three years Off-Broadway, director for Boston production), The Public, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Regional credits include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Repertory, Crossroads, Hartford Stage, Laguna Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Round House, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Studio Theatre. PSM for Pfizer-Brazil’s Viagra Launch.

RACHAEL DANIELLE ALBERT (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to return to Arena Stage after working on A Raisin in the Sun, Watch on the Rhine, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End and The City of Conversation. New York credits include The Roads to Home (Primary Stages); Maize & Blue on Broadway and The Last Word (New York Musical Theatre Festival); and Howards End. Regional credits include Bright Star (pre-Broadway, the Kennedy Center); Souvenir (New London Barn Playhouse); Up Here, Ether Dome and Peer Gynt (La Jolla Playhouse); Rich Girl (The Old Globe); and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Stage 773). She is a founding member of Ubuntu Theater Project. Rachael received her M.F.A. from University of California, San Diego, and B.F.A. from University of Michigan. Proud AEA member.

ANITA MAYNARD-LOSH (Vocal Coach) is in her 14th season at Arena Stage. She directed the world premiere of Our War and served as associate director on several productions, including Carousel, Oliver! and Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End. Anita trained and taught at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, was on the faculty at Webster University in St. Louis, headed the theater department at the University of Alaska Southeast and was the associate artistic director of Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska native-inspired production of Macbeth that Anita conceived and directed was performed in English and Tlingit at the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C. Through Arena Stage’s devised theater program, Voices of Now, Anita has collaborated on creating and directing original plays with communities in India and Croatia.

GUTHRIE THEATER (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature and to cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Under Haj’s leadership, the Guthrie is guided by four core values: artistic excellence; community; diversity, equity and inclusion; and fiscal responsibility. The Guthrie produces a mix of classic and contemporary plays on three stages and continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance, serving nearly 400,000 patrons annually. In 2006, the Guthrie opened a new home, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Open to the public year-round, it houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms, full-service restaurants and dramatic public lobbies.

Photo Gallery


Post-Show Discussions

September 27, 2017 – 12:00 p.m.
October 3, 2017 – 12:00 p.m.
October 10, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.
October 11, 2017 – 12:00 p.m.
October 12, 2017 – 8:00 p.m.


Audio Described

October 7, 2017 – 2:00 p.m.

Open Captioned

October 18, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.
October 19, 2017 – 8:00 p.m.
October 21, 2017 – 2:00 p.m.

Reading list

Although DC is the City of Trees, we do not generally look at the plant life around when we tell the stories of our lives and our communities in the District. But gardens and plants often make for the best metaphors and signposts for understanding our relationships to each other and to the city that we inhabit.

Below is a reading list curated by Arena Stage and the D.C. Public Library with some texts that may be of interest around Arena Stage’s production of Native Gardens. More information can also be found on the D.C. Public Library’s website here:

Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher

Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy and Rick Darke

Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast by Peter Del Tredici and Steward T.A. Pickett

Native Gardens runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. This production includes the use of electronic cigarettes.

Native Gardens