Native Gardens


Native Gardens

Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  2w, 2m

Gardens and cultures clash, turning friendly neighbors into feuding enemies in this hilarious comedy of good intentions and bad manners.

Image: 2018 Old Globe Production (Jim Cox)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 2m
  • Duration
    90 minutes
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


Pablo, a high-powered lawyer, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege, and entitlement. The hilarious results guarantee no one comes out smelling like a rose.

TANIA DEL VALLE – early thirties; smart, likeable, positive, passionate, highly-energized, pregnant PhD candidate and gardener.

PABLO DEL VALLE – early thirties; smart, likeable, ambitious, savvy young attorney.

VIRGINIA BUTLEY – sixty to mid-seventies; smart, likeable, assertive, direct, no-nonsense engineer.

FRANK BUTLEY – sixty to mid-seventies; smart, likeable, excitable, caring, detail-oriented federal employee and gardener.

The play should also use two to four extras to play the silent roles of the SURVEYOR, LANDSCAPERS and BUILDING EXAMINER. There are short theatrical vignettes between scenes that can help transform the garden. These workers should preferably be Latinx and exude unique personalities as they work. They are the witnesses and the energetic transformers of both the play and the situation.

  • Setting Two back gardens, one beautiful, the other unkempt. The present.
  • Duration 90 minutes


“A biting, perceptive, and ultimately hopeful sendup to our fraught relationships with those around us – even right next door.” – DC Theatre Scene

“A comedy planted in difficult, painful issues.” – Chicago Tribune“Skillful comedy… bright and witty and clever.” –

“A true breath of comic fresh air. It’s a biting, perceptive, and ultimately hopeful sendup to our fraught relationships with those around us – even right next door. Beyond snappy one-liners and garden hose fights, the play challenges audiences to look beyond petty differences and rediscover our shared decency.” – DC Theatre Scene

“A lighthearted comedy with some heavier threads woven through for just the right amount of heft.” – Broadway World

“Sharp, witty writing, lots of laughs, a strong cast, a beautiful set, a sense of currency and immediacy, and an ideal summer length: 90 minutes, no intermission. Everything about it clicks and hums.” – Minnesota Post

Native Gardens is the best stage comedy of the summer.” – Star Tribune


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  • Guthrie Theatre: Native Gardens youtube thumbnail

    Guthrie Theatre: Native Gardens

  • Arena Stage: Native Gardens  youtube thumbnail

    Arena Stage: Native Gardens


  • Native Gardens

    Image: 2018 Old Globe Production (Jim Cox)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


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Karen Zacarías

Karen Zacarías was recently hailed by American Theater Magazine as one of the ten most-produced playwrights in the US. Her award-winning plays include The Copper Children, Destiny of Desire, Native Gardens, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins ...

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