Native Gardens
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by Karen Zacarias
      SHOW TIMES:       Thursday, May 19th -
Sunday, June 12th

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

This new comedy of “good intentions and bad manners,” has played coast-to-coast with unparalleled success. NATIVE GARDENS was originally planned, scheduled for Ivoryton’s 2020 season but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. The Playhouse is thrilled to finally bring this uproarious play to life in Ivoryton.

NATIVE GARDENS draws its comedy from two sets of feuding neighbors, Virginia and Frank vs. Pablo and Tania. Pablo, a rising attorney, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, have just purchased a home next to Frank and Virginia, a well-established D.C. couple with a prize-worthy English garden. But an impending barbeque for Pablo’s colleagues and a delicate disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out border dispute. The couples find themselves literally building fences while breaking down barriers at the same time. NATIVE GARDENS is an entertaining look at what it takes to be good neighbors in America. Spoiler alert: no one comes out smelling like a rose!

The NATIVE GARDENS includes Joseph Dellger* as Frank, Stacia Fernandez* as Virginia, Blanca Grande* as Tania, and Jose-Maria Aguila* as Pablo. The play is directed by Brian J. Feehan and has sets designed by Daniel Nischan, lights and sound by Alan Piotrowicz, and costumes by Elizabeth Saylor.

Ticket prices:  $55 adult; $50 senior; $25 students of all ages

COVID Policy:  This season, Ivoryton Playhouse is back to full capacity for the first time in two years, yet the safety of our audience remains our primary concern. Before admittance into the Playhouse, vaccinated patrons are asked to provide proof of vaccination (with photo ID). If you are not vaccinated, you must provide a negative covid test result within 72 hours (with photo ID). Entry will be denied to patrons who do not provide the documentation as required. For the safety of all of our patrons, wearing of masks in the theatre is recommended.

If you are not feeling well or are experiencing any symptoms of covid, please do not travel to the Playhouse. We will gladly switch your tickets to another date within the same show (subject to availability).

These guidelines are subject to change at any time during the season. Knowing all audience members are covid-free will provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Jose-Maria Aguila* (Pablo) is a Mexican born Actor, writer, and fight choreographer. A grad of the NYU Graduate Acting Program, and has studied at the British American Drama Academy, Oxford University and the National theater Conservatory.   Credits include, SWAT (CBS/Paramount+), Pose (FX), Blue Bloods (CBS), Madam Secretary (CBS), 5th of July (Amazon), Regional: Portland Stage, Williamstown Theater Festival, Denver Center, The Guthrie Theater. Jose-Maria currently teaches and has taught stage combat/acting/movement for the actor at NYU Graduate Acting, The Stella Adler Conservatory, NYU Tisch Undergraduate Acting Program, The Dalton School, The 52nd Street Project, and Dream Yard. “Enseñales quien eres..”

Joseph Dellger* (Frank) is delighted to be a “first timer” at Ivoryton Playhouse.  Stacia (Ginny) and Joe are married and working together for the first time!  Wish us luck!  Broadway: Father in Ragtime, The Coroner in The Gershwins Porgy and Bess, Magnus in Lestat and Wm Randolph Hurst in Scandalous.  Off Bway: Bellomy and Huckabee in The Fantastiks, Blanket of Dust, Regional: Joe in Working at The REV @ The Merry-Go-Round, Sandor in Bells Are Ringing, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd – Pioneer Theater and also at The REV, Andre in Phantom of The Opera San Francisco, Jaques Brel… at the Alliance, Scrooge in An Inspector Calls, Father in Ragtime in Chicago, Inspector Hanke in The Visit at the Goodman, Padre in Man of LaMancha at Goodspeed Opera House, Ben in Follies at The Signature Theater, Tom Watson in Nerds at Philidelphis The. Co.  Bishop in Les Mix at TOTS.  Television: Alpha House, Gotham, Instinct, Crashing, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Royal Pains.  For Cene, the Chief and Jewelz.

Stacia Fernandez* (Virginia) is an Actor, writer, producer based in NYC. Stacia could not be more excited to be here and to work with her husband Joe for the very first time! (Frank!). Plus her first time back onstage in over 2 years!! Welcome back everyone! Before the shutdown, she last appeared Off Broadway as Hilda in Einstein’s Dreams. She has also appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia!, The Drowsy Chaperone where she performed the Tony Award Winning Role, SWING, Tom Sawyer, The Scarlet Pumpernel, and Beauty and the Beast. She has toured the country in several National tours (Evita, Beauty and the Beast and Jerome Robbins Broadway among them) and appears across the country in Regional Theatre most recently at Papermill Playhouse as Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast and as Reno Sweeney, Night of the Iguana (with James Earl Jones) and Death of a Salesman. Among her favorite roles are Diana in next to Normal, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Mrs. Anna in the King and I, and Grizabella in CATS.   She also has done voice work on several films including Enchanted, Shaggy Dogg, Captain America and Frozen 2.   Stacia is a founding member and partner of Streamingmusicals.com, who has produced 8 films, including the Telly Award Winning Estella Scrooge and most recently a horror movie, yet to be released, called In The Shadows, starring Keith David and Bruce Davison. Thank you Brian! Thank you John Essay!  Social Media:  StaciaFernandez.com

Blanca Grande* (Tania) is honored to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut in Native Gardens and thrilled to be performing back onstage again! She could be seen Regionally in performances such as: Janet in South Pacific (Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and New Paradigm Theatre Company), Gloria/Rosie u/s in Bye Bye Birdie (New Paradigm Theatre Company), Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, Emilia in Comedy of Errors, and Charlotte in Moon Over Buffalo (NVCC Theatre), Bali Ha’i Dancer/Liat u/s in South Pacific (Summer Theatre of New Canaan), Angelina in The Wildest and Mimi in Rent (CT Cabaret Theatre). She made one of her dreams come true by singing onstage with Kristin Chenowith as a featured soloist in Ridgefield Playhouse’s Fall Gala. She can also be seen in commercials nationwide and locally for: TeePublic, IT Cosmetics, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Bad Sons Brewery, and Johnson and Johnson. Thank you to the cast and crew and her amazing family.

Director:  Brian J. Feehan

Stage Manager:  James Joseph Clark*

Scenic Designer:  Daniel Nischan

Lighting and Sound Designer:  Alan Piotrowicz

Costume Designer:  Elizabeth Saylor

* member of Actors Equity

Karen Zacarías award-winning plays include the sold-out/extended comedy THE BOOK CLUB PLAY, the sold-out world premiere drama JUST LIKE US (adapted from the book by Helen Thorpe) at Denver Theater Center, the Steinberg –citation award play LEGACY OF LIGHT , the Francesca Primus Award winning play MARIELA IN THE DESERT,  the Helen Hayes Award winning play  THE SINS OF SOR JUANA , the adaptation of Julia Alvarez’s HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS LOST THEIR ACCENTS. Karen also has a piece in the Arena Stage premiere of OUR WAR.  Her TYA musicals with composer Debbie Wicks la Puma include JANE OF THE JUNGLE, EINSTEIN IS A DUMMY, LOOKING FOR ROBERTO CLEMENTE, CINDERELLA EATS RICE AND BEANS, FERDINAND THE BULL, and FRIDA LIBRE. Her musical CHASING GEORGE WASHINGTON premiered at The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and went on a National Tour.  Her script was then adapted into a book by Scholastic with a foreword by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Karen is currently working on the adaptation of Edith Wharton’s THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, a drama for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a Brazilian themed Oliver Twist musical: OLIVERIO: A BRAZILIAN TWIST ON DICKENS for the Kennedy Center. Her libretto of THE SUN ALSO RISES for the Washington Ballet received accolades in the New York Times and she is currently writing the libretto for THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW with Washington Ballet artistic Director Septime Webre. She is proud to be currently commissioned to write new plays for Arena Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Ford’s Theater, Adventure Theater, and First Stage.

Her plays have been produced at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Arena Stage, The Goodman Theater, Round House Theater, The Denver Center, Alliance Theater, Imagination Stage, GALA Hispanic Theater, Berkshire Theater Festival, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, San Jose Repertory Theater, GEVA Theater, Horizon’s Theater, People’s Light and Theater, Walnut Street Theater, Arden Theater, Milagro Theater, Teatro Vista, Aurora Theater, and many more.

Her awards include: New Voices Award, 2010 Steinberg Citation-Best New Play, Paul Aneillo Award, National Francesca Primus Prize, New Voices Award, National Latino Play Award, Finalist Susan Blackburn, Helen Hayes for Outstanding New Play.

Karen is the first playwright-in-residence at Arena Stage in Washington, DC and has taught playwriting at Georgetown University. She is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC. YPT won the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House as one of the most innovative arts programs in the nation. The YPT curriculum is currently being used in public schools in DC, VA, MD, New Orleans, Detroit, and Texas and is published on Amazon as “WRITE TO DREAM.”

Karen is represented by the Graham Agency and published by Dramatic Publishing. Karen is fluent in English and Spanish and highly proficient in Danish and French. She has BA with distinction from Stanford University and a Masters in Creative Writing from Boston University.  Born in Mexico, Karen now lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and three children.

www.karenzacarias.com

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A riotous comedy of good intentions and bad manners!

NATIVE GARDENS by Karen Zacarias at Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton – Theatre is alive and well in Ivoryton when you see the hilarious comedy, NATIVE GARDENS by Karen Zacarias.

This new comedy of “good intentions and bad manners,” has played coast-to-coast with unparalleled success. NATIVE GARDENS was originally planned, scheduled, and even cast, for Ivoryton’s 2020 season, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. The Playhouse is thrilled to finally bring this uproarious play to life in Ivoryton.

NATIVE GARDENS draws its comedy from two sets of feuding neighbors, Virginia and Frank vs. Pablo and Tania. Pablo, a rising attorney, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, have just purchased a home next to Frank and Virginia, a well-established D.C. couple with a prize-worthy English garden. But an impending barbeque for Pablo’s colleagues and a delicate disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out border dispute. The couples find themselves literally building fences while breaking down barriers at the same time. NATIVE GARDENS is an entertaining look at what it takes to be good neighbors in America. Spoiler alert: no one comes out smelling like a rose!

The NATIVE GARDENS cast has been waiting in the wings for two years and includes Joseph Dellger* as Frank, Stacia Fernandez* as Virginia, Blanca Grande* as Tania, and Jose-Maria Aguila* as Pablo. The play is directed by Brian J. Feehan and has sets designed by Daniel Nischan, lights and sound by Alan Piotrowicz, and costumes by Elizabeth Saylor.

NATIVE GARDENS runs through Sunday, June 12, 2022. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm; evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm.

This season, the Playhouse is back to full capacity for the first time in two years, yet the safety of our audience remains our primary concern. Masks are not required, though recommended, and provide proof of vaccination or a negative covid test result is necessary for admittance. Knowing all audience members are covid-free will provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Tickets are $55 for adults, $50 for seniors, and $25 for students. Tickets are available online at ivorytonplayhouse.org or by calling the box office at 860.767.7318. (For information on group rates, please call the box office.) For more information on the entire 2022 season, visit ivorytonplayhouse.org. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!

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Karen Zacarías is one of the most produced playwrights in the nation. She is one of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and is a core founder of the LATINX THEATRE COMMONS. She is the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC. Karen lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children.