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“Native Gardens,” the Contemporary, Hot-Button Comedy, Plays at the Historic Dock Street Theatre This March



Press Release

Playwright Karen Zacarías was recently hailed by American Theatre Magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the USA. Her plays have been produced at The Kennedy Center, The Goodman Theater, South Coast Rep, GALA Hispanic Theater, Denver Theater Center, and Dallas Theater Center. And now, her contemporary, hot-button comedy NATIVE GARDENS, will have its Charleston premiere at the Historic Dock Street Theatre this March.

Zacarías’ NATIVE GARDENS follows Pablo, a rising attorney, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, as they purchase a fixer-upper next to Frank and Virginia, a well-established D.C. couple with their cherished backyard English garden. All seems neighborly until it’s discovered that Pablo and Tania’s property line runs right through Frank’s prize-winning flower beds—right where Pablo and Tania plan a new fence. A simple property line dispute soon spirals into an all-out “border war,” exposing both couples’ notions of race, taste, class and privilege.

“What I love about this script is that we all have stumbled when it comes to relating to others,” stated Co-Director and Artistic Director Designee Marybeth Clark. “It is easy to discover differences: age, priorities, political views, race. And no matter how educated or politically correct we may see ourselves, we sometimes just get it wrong. The real question is what do we do when it happens? A spirit of understanding radiates in Zacarías’ work today. It is refreshing to direct a piece that addresses bias with such humor and heart, allowing the audience to see the many sides of even the tiniest issue.”

This collaborative cast features Resident Actor Cody Elsensohn as Pablo Del Valle (A Christmas Carol – Bob Cratchit and The Play That Goes Wrong – Max/Cecil Haversham/Arthur) with local actor Kayla Green as Tania Del Valle, accompanied by Charleston Stage Acting Ensemble Members Melonea Marek (Murder on the Orient Express – Helen Hubbard and Steel Magnolias –  Clairee) and Don Brandenburg (Murder on the Orient Express – Monsieur Bouc and Noises Off – Selsdon Mowbery) as Virginia and Frank Butley. Ensemble actors include Resident Actos Cedar Valdez (JFK and Inga Binga – Lem Billings and The Addams Family: A New Musical – Gomez Addams) and Jenna Barricklo (A Christmas Carol – Belle Fezziwig and The Addams Family: A New Musical – Wednesday Addams) with Charleston Stage TheatreWings Member Carlos Grace.

Charleston Stage’s NATIVE GARDENS features the co-direction of Guest Director Henry Clay Middleton and Artistic Director Designee Marybeth Clark. Set designs are by Technical Director and Resident Scenic & Projector Designer Adam Jehle, costume design by Associate Costume Designer and Construction Coordinator Hayley O’Brien, properties design by Properties Supervisor Aline Toloto, lighting design by Resident Lighting Designer Caleb S. Garner, sound design by Resident Sound Designer and Audio Engineer Luke Walchuk, and stage management by Production Manager Ashley Palmer.

Performances of NATIVE GARDENS run March 8 – 26 at the Historic Dock Street Theatre. Ticket sales are available online at

Native Gardens Performance Dates:

Mar. 8 Wed 7:30pm PNC Pay-As-You-Please

Mar. 10 Fri 7:30pm Opening Night

Mar. 11 Sat 7:30pm

Mar. 12 Sun 2:00pm

Mar. 16 Thu 7:30pm

Mar. 17 Fri 7:30pm

Mar. 18 Sat 7:30pm

Mar. 19 Sun 2:00pm

Mar. 23 Thu 7:30pm

Mar. 24 Fri 7:30pm

Mar. 25 Sat 7:30pm

Mar. 26 Sun 2:00pm

Native Gardens Prices:
Adults $42.50 – $75.50

Seniors (60+) $40.50 – $75.50

Students (Ages 3-25) and Active Military $35.50 – $75.50

Native Gardens Tickets Now On Sale:
Order by Phone (843) 577-7183
Order online at
Group Rates Available: Call Mary Elizabeth Ray, Box Office Manager, at (843) 647-7373
Student Rush: College student tickets, with proof of valid ID, are $10 one hour before curtain (subject to availability)

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