Native Gardens, an image of a picket fence with a thriving tree on the left and a dead tree on the right

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One of the most frequently-produced plays in the U.S., the domestic comedy pits neighbor against neighbor in a culture clash for the ages

[SALT LAKE CITY, UT DECEMBER 18, 2023] — Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC), Utah’s premier professional theatre, kicks off 2024 with the Utah premiere of Native Gardens. The timely satire was written by Karen Zacarías, recently hailed by American Theater magazine as one of the ten most-produced playwrights in the United States. Her other works include The Copper Children, Destiny of Desire, and The Book Club Play. Native Gardens is described as follows:

From award-winning playwright Karen Zacarías comes a contemporary comedy that reminds us: we can’t always choose our neighbors. Rising attorney Pablo and his doctoral candidate (and very pregnant) wife Tania, have just purchased a D.C. home next to a well-established couple with a prize-worthy English garden. But an impending barbecue 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. Zacarías’ hilariously biting play sees well-intentioned neighbors turned into feuding enemies in a garden party culture clash for the ages.  


Featured in the cast is PTC alum Tito Livas* (Fireflies, A Christmas Story – The Musical) as Pablo Del Valle. Since last working at PTC, Livas appeared in the new musical Destiny of Desire, also penned by Zacarías, at San Diego’s Old Globe.

Making their respective PTC debuts are Katya Collazo* (Off-Broadway’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, the American premiere of The Da Vinci Code at Ogunquit Playhouse) as Tania Del Valle; Michael Kostroff* (HBO’s The Wire, Inherit the Wind at Pasadena Playhouse) as Frank Butley; and Kelly Coffield Park* (an original cast member of Fox’s In Living Color, Perry Street at MCC) as Virginia Butley.

With directing credits at some of the nation’s most esteemed theatre companies—including Signature Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, Kennedy Center, and Mark Taper Forum, Timothy Douglas returns to PTC having previously directed Clybourne Park and Fences. Douglas is joined on the Creative Team by Scenic Designer Jo Winiarski (PTC’s A Distinct Society, The Prom); Lighting Designer Peter Maradudin (Broadway’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom); Costume Designer Lex Liang (Christmas in Connecticut); and Sound Designer Bryce Robinette (What the Constitution Means to Me). Emily Nacrissa Griffith* is Production Stage Manager.


2024 marks the 45th year of the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre Loge Gallery. During the run of Native Gardens, the gallery will feature the work of local artists Ben Behunin, Cory C. Dangerfield, and Thomas Boden. Their respective works—ranging from pottery, painting, to photography—will be made for sale through the PTC Box Office.

Native Gardens runs from January 12 through 27 at the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre. Tickets are available at or by calling PTC’s Box Office at 801-581-6961. 

This production is sponsored by the EMMA ECCLES JONES FOUNDATION.



Joshua Black 
Director of Marketing and Communications 
Joshua.Black at 
O: 801-581-6270

INTERVIEWS: Theatre staff, members of the cast, and creative team can be made available for interviews. Please contact Joshua Black to arrange.

Native Gardens
by Karen Zacarías

“Native Gardens” is presented in arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

January 12-27, 2024

Monday – Thursday, 7:00 PM Friday and Saturday, 7:30 PM Saturday, 2:00 PM 

Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) is located in the Simmons Memorial Pioneer Theatre, 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City 

$42 – $53 in advance; $5 more when purchased on day of show 

Students K – 12 or ages 5-18 are half-price Monday – Thursday 


Box Office: 801-581-6961 
Open 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Monday – Friday 
PTC Show Listing: Native Gardens

Tania Del Valle: Katya Collazo* 
Frank Butley: Michael Kostroff*
Pablo Del Valle: Tito Livas*
Virginia Butley: Kelly Coffield Park*

Director: Timothy Douglas
Scenic Designer: Jo Winiarski
Costume Designer: Lex Liang
Lighting Designer: Peter Maradudin
Sound Designer: Bryce Robinette
Production Stage Manager: Emily Nacrissa Griffith*

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. 

Now celebrating its 62nd season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s premiere professional theatre company and leading arts organization of the West. Led by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and Interim Managing Director Diane L. Parisi, PTC presents world-class productions that celebrate diversity in culture and society and serve as the connecting bridge between art and scholarship as an affiliate of the University of Utah. For more information, visit

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