Karen Zacarias

Karen Zacarias

KAREN ZACARÍAS was recently hailed as one of the most produced playwrights in the US. Her award-winning plays include Destiny of Desire, Native Gardens, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Just Like Us, Into The Beautiful North, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. She is the author of ten renown TYA musicals and the librettist of...
KAREN ZACARÍAS was recently hailed as one of the most produced playwrights in the US. Her award-winning plays include Destiny of Desire, Native Gardens, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Just Like Us, Into The Beautiful North, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. She is the author of ten renown TYA musicals and the librettist of several Ballets. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage, a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, and a founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater. She was voted 2018 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine for her advocacy work in the arts.

Plays

  • Native Gardens
    Good fences make good neighbors … right?

    A hilarious hot-button comedy
    You can’t choose your neighbors. In this brilliant new comedy, cultures and gardens clash, turning well-intentioned neighbors into feuding enemies. 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...
    Good fences make good neighbors … right?

    A hilarious hot-button comedy
    You can’t choose your neighbors. In this brilliant new comedy, cultures and gardens clash, turning well-intentioned neighbors into feuding enemies. 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, exposing both couples’ notions of race, taste, class and privilege.

    “Guthrie’s ‘Native Gardens’ is the best stage comedy of the summer”

    – Star Tribune
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    “Native Gardens is 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
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    “The Guthrie has extended “Native Gardens” another week, and that’s a good thing, because it’s a perfect summer play. It has 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.”

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    – Minnesota Post
    Cast & Crew
    2 women // 2 men

    2-4 extras

    View Photo Gallery >
    Production History:
    Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Victory Gardens, Old Globe Theater, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Trinity Repertory Theater, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Intiman Theater, Florida Studio Stage, Vermont Stage, WaterTower Theater
  • Destiny of Desire
    Destiny of Desire
    “An unapologetic and subversive Telenovela for the Stage”

    On a stormy night in Bellarica, Mexico, two baby girls are born — one into a life of privilege and one into a life of poverty. When the newborns are swapped by a former beauty queen with an insatiable lust for power the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny. “A writer of...
    Destiny of Desire
    “An unapologetic and subversive Telenovela for the Stage”

    On a stormy night in Bellarica, Mexico, two baby girls are born — one into a life of privilege and one into a life of poverty. When the newborns are swapped by a former beauty queen with an insatiable lust for power the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny. “A writer of comedic skill” (Variety), Karen Zacarías infuses the Mexican telenovela genre with music, high drama and burning passion to make for a fast-paced modern comedy.

    “Terrifically entertaining theatrical roller-coaster “Destiny of Desire…is a zany, funny delight”

    – LA Times – Charles McNulty

    “Destiny of Desire” may owe a debt to soap operas, miniseries and potboilers of the most shameless variety, but it also shares storytelling DNA with Shakespeare’s romances, in which children are lost, lovers are separated and the lurking threat of death and destruction makes happy endings all the more delectable.” Read More

    – LA Times – Charles McNulty

    “Simply fabulous and riotously funny…highly entertaining. (Destiny of Desire) would make a good Broadway musical.“

    – Chicago Tribune – Chris Jones
  • Legacy of Light
    Legacy of Light
    “What is the science of love?”

    Two women scientists, living hundreds of years apart, explore the meaning of love, motherhood, family, art and science in this contemporary comedy. Legacy of Light juxtaposes the story of Émilie du Châtelet, a mathematician, scientist, and lover of the great 18th-century philosopher Voltaire, who became unexpectedly pregnant at 42, and that of...
    Legacy of Light
    “What is the science of love?”

    Two women scientists, living hundreds of years apart, explore the meaning of love, motherhood, family, art and science in this contemporary comedy. Legacy of Light juxtaposes the story of Émilie du Châtelet, a mathematician, scientist, and lover of the great 18th-century philosopher Voltaire, who became unexpectedly pregnant at 42, and that of a 21st-century physicist desperately trying to conceive a child.

    “This is a work with its heart in the right place, one in which the comic machinations emanate from a source of bona fide light.”

    – Peter Marks, Washington Post

    “Zacarías has written this entertaining play with a shrewd eye for the economies and interests of today’s theater. It is a flight of fancy with a relevant component, containing expansive roles that will be popular with performers. Women, especially, will admire the strength, intellectual depth and human qualities of the play’s female characters.”

    – VARIETY

    “Legacy of Light is an intellectual joyride from start to finish that confronts a universal question: How do women balance a passionate yearning for science with maternal instinct?”

    – Rosalind Lucy, DC Theater Scene

    “If Karen Zacarías’ new play Legacy of Light is any indication of where play writing is headed then pop the champagne, we have a lot to celebrate.”

    – Stark Insider
  • INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH
    In PROGRESS: FIRST DRAFT- Based on the hilarious and heart-wrenching book by Luis Alberto Urrea- Inspired by the Movie The Maginificent Seven, Nayeli leaves with her best friends goth Vampi, and gay-bar ownder Tacho, to sneak into the US to bring seven Magnificent Mexican Men to defend their town from drug dealers. The epic journey from Sinaloa, Mexico, to , San Diego and finally to Kankakee Illinois- is...
    In PROGRESS: FIRST DRAFT- Based on the hilarious and heart-wrenching book by Luis Alberto Urrea- Inspired by the Movie The Maginificent Seven, Nayeli leaves with her best friends goth Vampi, and gay-bar ownder Tacho, to sneak into the US to bring seven Magnificent Mexican Men to defend their town from drug dealers. The epic journey from Sinaloa, Mexico, to , San Diego and finally to Kankakee Illinois- is laugh out loud funny and gut wrenching at the same time.