Cultures, gardens clash in hot-button comedy 'Native Gardens'
Cultures and gardens clash in acclaimed playwright Karen Zacarías' hilarious hot-button comedy "Native Gardens" now in production at The Armory.
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, class and good taste. Well-intentioned neighbors quickly turn into feuding enemies.
"You go in, and you're judging each couple and changing your mind about who's right, but at the end of the play, the person you're judging is yourself. My hope is that people will take a moment to ponder what it will take for them to be a better neighbor," Zacarías said in an interview with Keluda Smith. "You can still laugh, have fun and talk about hard things in a way where nobody's off the hook."
Melissa Crespo directs a cast that includes Anne-Marie Cusson and Paul DeBoy as the retired Butleys, and Erick González and Monica Rae Summers Gonzalez as the new neighbors, the Del Valles. Crespo leads an all women of color design team of Scenic Designer Shoko Kambara, Costume Designer Lux Haac, Lighting Designer Dawn Chiang, and Sound Designer Elishaba Ittoop. "Native Gardens" is a co-production with Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre Center, where the production received rave reviews.
American Theatre magazine named Zacarías one of the top five most-produced playwrights in the United States this season, and named "Native Gardens" one of the top 10 most produced plays.
The Armory will host free post-show discussions with cast and crew following matinee performances on June 6, 13 and 15.
"Native Gardens" cast members will be making their debut at The Armory. Anne-Marie Cusson will play Virginia Butley; Paul DeBoy will play Frank Butley. Erick González will play Pablo Del Valle. Monica Rae Summers Gonzalez will play Tania Del Valle. Anthony Green, Martin Hernandez, Crystal Ann Muñoz and Lucas Salazar will play the gardeners.
Peformances continue through June 16. All performances take place on the U.S. Bank Main Stage at The Armory, 128 N.W. 11th Ave., Portland.
Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday evenings (excluding June 11 and 16); at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (excluding June 8); and at noon Thursday.
Regular tickets range from $25 to $87. Tickets may be purchased at www.pcs.org, 503-445-3700, or in-person from the box office, 128 N.W. 11th Ave., Portland. Rush tickets are $20.
Students, patrons who are 30 or younger, and active duty or veteran military personnel and their families get 50% off tickets in seating areas 1-3. $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program.
All prices vary by date and time, and are subject to change.
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