Ever fight with your neighbors? Maybe she steals your paper. Or he parks that clunker in front of your house. Or maybe I’m describing you.
Playwright Karen Zacarías says she was inspired to write Native Gardens after a dinner party in which a number of her friends related problems with their neighbors. "We all talked about how terrible it is to be in a fight with your neighbor, because it’s where you live, you know. But also, I noticed what all the stories had in common: there was something primal and poetic and absurd."
That got Zacarías thinking, "What if every fight in the world can be narrowed down to four people in a backyard? And what can I learn about myself and my community by looking at it like that?"
Zacarías lives in Washington, D.C., but a story about neighbors new and old struggling to find common ground with each other resonates nationwide. In fact, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is one of six companies to perform it this year alone. Others include the Pasadena Playhouse, where Seinfeld star Jason Alexander is directing, the Old Globe in San Diego and Intiman Theatre in Seattle.
The plot (pun intended)
A young Latino couple, Pablo (Michael Evans Lopez) and Tania (Marlene Martinez), moves into a nice suburb in Washington, D.C.. They form a fast friendship with the older white couple next door, Frank (Jackson Davis) and Virginia (Amy Resnick). Both couples listen to NPR. Both couples have strong, if conflicting, philosophies about gardening.