Native Gardens



Rising attorney Pablo and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, have just purchased a home next to Frank and Virginia, a D.C. couple with a prize-worthy English garden. But an impending barbecue for Pablo’s colleagues and a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spiral into an all-out border dispute, exposing both couples’ notions of race, taste, class and privilege.
“A lighthearted comedy with some heavier threads woven through for just the right amount of heft”—Broadway World

GENERAL INFO


October 21 – November 7, 2021
by KAREN ZACARIAS
directed by George A. Loizides






CAST:



✓ COVID Protocol
All patrons (ages 12 and over) must be fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine to attend performances or have tested negative within 72 hours. Therefore, all patrons entering the theater must show a vaccination card, Excelsior pass or proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the performance, along with ID.



Secure proof of  COVID-19 vaccination record and negative test results on the NY Excelsior Pass. Click here

Appropriate face coverings are required for everyone at all times. Face coverings must be secured and cover the entire mouth and nose.

PREVIEWS and REVIEWS

PREVIEW

Hamptons Theatre Company Offers a Comedy With ‘Teeth’

By Mark Segal
The East Hampton Star


Next week’s opening of the 2021-2022 season at the Hampton Theatre Company in Quogue will mark the first time the theater will be at full capacity in more than 18 months. Thinking back to March 2020, Andrew Botsford, the company’s president as well as a frequent actor and director, said, “Nobody knew anything.”

By that, he meant that when they had to shut down a week before the opening of A.R. Gurney’s play “Sylvia,” they thought, “Okay, this is a little bump,” and it was penciled in for May. When that didn’t pan out, they thought the summer would bring warm weather and a lull in the pandemic, allowing for a September opening. And so it went until this past May, when they were finally able to open “Sylvia” — at 30 percent capacity. Fortunately, the set had remained in place for 15 months.

As with theaters and cultural organizations everywhere, there was concern about the theater’s future, especially as the company’s general manager, some bookkeeping staff, and others were on salary, with no other source of income.

Mr. Botsford emphasized, however, that H.T.C. was very fortunate, especially considering the toll the pandemic took on so many. “People were wonderful, they stepped up and continued to donate money, and that kept us going so we could move forward.”

The company is indeed going forward with “Native Gardens,” a play by Karen Zacarias that will open a three-week run at 7 p.m. next Thursday. The play was praised by The Minneapolis Star Tribune during its 2017 run there as a “brilliant new comedy [in which] cultures and gardens clash.”

“Native Gardens” follows two couples who live next door to each other in an historic Washington, D.C., neighborhood. Frank and Virginia are a couple of older empty-nesters, and Frank spends most of his free time perfecting his manicured garden, which he hopes will win him an award from a local horticultural society.

Tania and Pablo Del Valle are a Latinx couple in their 30s whose plans for their fixer-upper include a “native garden” consisting of indigenous plants. Problems arise when Tania and Pablo offer to replace the chain-link fence that separates the two yards, only to discover that the old fence has deprived them of two feet of their property. A battle over those two feet ensues.

The idea for the play was planted at a dinner party where a friend of Ms. Zacarias told her she was in a fight with her neighbors. “All of those fights are so primal and poetic and absurd in some ways,” the playwright told American Theatre Magazine. “I kept thinking, it’s almost like every single battle between nations or tribes . . . it boils down to this fight about property and culture, in a sense.” The play also gave Ms. Zacarias, who was born in Mexico, a platform for creating Latinx characters.

Mr. Botsford remarked on his own predilection for “shows that have a lot of humor in them, but have teeth.” While “Native Gardens” is light-hearted, “there’s a little bit of racism, a little bit of privilege, a little bit of age difference, generational conflict, and Anglo-Hispanic conflict.”

As for the idea of the pollinator pathway and the use of native plants, which is sweeping Long Island and much of the Northeast “to save the butterflies and the bees and the birds,” it’s “right in the wheelhouse of this play,” he said.

The cast includes Terrance Fiore as Frank, Martha Kelly as Virginia, Samantha Herrera as Tania, and Edwin A. Cruz as Pablo. Direction is by George Loizides, set design by Gary Hygom, lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski, sound by Seamus Naughton, and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

Performances will take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8, and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., with an additional matinee set for Nov. 6. A conversation with the cast will follow the Oct. 29 performance. Tickets are $36, $31 for senior citizens, and $20 for students 25 and under. Proof of vaccination or documentation of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the day of the performance will be required, as will face covering while inside the theater.

WHO'S WHO

EDWIN ALEXANDER CRUZ (Pablo Del Valle) is delighted to debut at the Hampton Theatre Company as Pablo in Native Gardens! When not playing a neurotic, know-it-all, loud Hispanic guy, Edwin can be found in his pjs eating frozen pizza from the local supermarket. During pre and post frozen pizza eating, Edwin is probably locked away in a sound-booth recording English, Spanish, and Italian voice over TV commercials … probably about pizza! Or recording some movie out in the middle of Timbuktu, Burbank in California. He trained with some of the best acting coaches in New York City at The Neighborhood Playhouse, Sanford Meisner’s School of Theatre and graduated Summa Cum Nothing 2016. He has guest starred in some ABC and Discovery series that no one has heard of, like A Crime to Remember and I, Witness. If none of the above applies, you might find him at some Los Angeles cafe writing his own projects, or at home deciding which plaid shirt accurately reflects his mood today.

TERRANCE FIORE (Frank Butley) is delighted to be returning to the HTC stage in Native Gardens. Terry last appeared with HTC in Comedy of Tenors, (Saunders), and earlier HTC performances include Clever Little Lies, (Bill, Sr.), Other People’s Money (Jorgenson), Enchanted April, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Six Degrees of Separation. Other favorite performances include The Summit, at Guild Hall, Love Letters”(with Pia Lindstrom and Tony Walton, dir.), Galapagos, the stage adaptation of the Kurt Vonnegut novel, The Diary of Anne Frank at Bay Street Theatre, Tennessee Williams’s In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, 110 In The Shade, The Foreigner, and Moonlight and Magnolias. Terry has appeared in a range of dramatic readings and radio plays. Film credits include Dark Was the Night, which premiered at the Lincoln Center Scary Movie Festival. Video: Grey Advertising’s award winning The 401K Project, which advocated for a reduction in gun violence. Thanks to his wife Blair for her love and encouragement, and good-spirited tolerance of dinners alone during our rehearsal schedule.

SAMANTHA HERRERA (Tania Del Valle) Born and raised in New York City, Samantha’s theater roots began at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She attended Hunter College working extensively both on and off stage. A proud graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse ‘16, she continued her training at London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art for their summer Shakespeare program. Her tv work includes a recurring role on Season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist and she is preparing for her debut feature film, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, slated to shoot in January 2022. Aside from acting, she has directed both in film & theater and is most excited to be bringing her first screenplay to life.

MARTHA KELLY (Virginia Butley) is so pleased to be back at the Hampton Theatre Company, where she was last seen as Ethel Chauvenet in the 2015 production of Harvey. Meantime, she has been very active in community theater in Florida. Last season, she played Cookie in Neil Simons’ Rumors at the Barn Theatre in Stuart, Fl. Previously, she was a familiar onstage figure at the Vero Beach Theatre Guild. In Vero, she played a variety of roles, from madame of a brothel to a singing nun, earning multiple acting awards. Favorites include Miss Hannigan in Annie; Mrs. Graves in Enchanted April; Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest; Inspector Goring in The Game’s Afoot, and Ruth in Making God Laugh.

GEORGE A. LOIZIDES (Director) has directed six other productions for HTC including Private Lives, Don’t Dress For Dinner, Lost In Yonkers, Picnic, The Odd Couple (Female Version) and Bus Stop. He has appeared on the HTC stage many times, most recently playing three different roles in the Spring production of Sylvia. Before that he played Norman in On Golden Pond and was in Alarms and Excursions, Heroes, Bedroom Farce, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Glengarry Glen Ross. As an actor and director for more than 50 years, he has also acted and directed for Playcrafters Theatre Company in Bellport. For 27 years he was Director of Theatre Arts for Ward Melville High School where he taught acting and directing, as well as directing 81 productions. He studied acting and directing at the HB Studio in NYC. He is on the Board of Directors for HTC. To his cast who have come from far and wide to bring this play to life, “Thanks, thanks and ever thanks.” He thanks Gary for a wonderful set. He thanks HTC for this opportunity and for the support. Love to Kathy.

KAREN ZACARÍAS (Playwright) is one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S. Her plays have been produced at the John F. Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Goodman Theater, Round House Theater, 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. One of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, she is a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons and the founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC.

GARY HYGOM (Set Designer) Gary is excited to be working again with the Hampton Theatre Co. He was one of the founding members of the company designing the first production of Anne Frank in 1985, the first of six for the HTC. It was on the set of Hot L Baltimore (in a tent) with HTC that he met his wife of 26 years Mary Powers.
Since then he has designed 50 plus shows at various theaters and Off Broadway. He was the producing director at Bay Street Theatre for 20 years, founder of Oak Hill Theatre Company, executive director of the Patchogue Theatre for three years, is the producer of The Rock Project, and just announced as the executive director of the Suffolk Theater.

TERESA LEBRUN (Costume Designer) is the resident costumer for Hampton Theatre Company. She started helping with costumes in 1986 and has designed the costumes for all the company’s productions since 2005. Teresa also costumes for Center Moriches and Westhampton Beach High Schools. Much love to her boys, Josh and Noah, family and great friends.

JULIA MORGAN ABRAMS (House Manager). After retiring from the legal department of Bristol Myers Squibb, Julia began a second career as a volunteer, initially for Literacy Suffolk, HTC, the Southampton Animal Shelter and Early Girl Farm, where she wrote grants and worked in fundraising. She continues to write grants and help with marketing for several local nonprofits. Julia would like to thank all of her dedicated House Assistants for their continued support.

PRODUCTION STAFF

Director – GEORGE A. LOIZIDES

Set Design – GARY HYGOM

Lighting Design – SEBASTIAN PACZYNSKI

Set Decor – GEORGE A. LOIZIDES, GARY HYGOM

Costume Design – TERESA LEBRUN

Set Construction – RICKY BOTTENUS, GARY HYGOM, MEG SEXTON

Sound Design – SEAMUS NAUGHTON

Box Office – SONYA HUBBARD

Production Graphics – DESIGNINGJOE

House Manager – JULIA MORGAN ABRAMS

Production Photographer – TOM KOCHIE

DIRECTIONS

FROM SUNRISE HIGHWAY (ROUTE-27):
Sunrise Highway (Route 27) to exit 64S (Rte. 104 to Quogue). Rte. 104 South (approx. 3 miles) to Montauk Highway (Rte. 80). Right onto Montauk Highway to light at Otis Ford (1 mile). Left onto Jessup Avenue. 1/2 mile to theater (on right). FROM MONTAUK HIGHWAY (ROUTE-80):
Montauk Highway to light at Otis Ford in Quogue. South onto Jessup Avenue. 1/2 mile to theater (on right).

PARKING & ACCESSIBILITY

PARKING: There is limited street parking around the theater as well as a parking lot that can be entered just north of the Quogue Community Hall. WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: A handicapped accessible entrance is located on the right (north) side of the building. Please use the driveway on the north side of the theater and ring the bell marked HTC Handicapped at the ramp entrance to the building and a volunteer will assist you; or have a member of your party notify us on arrival at the box office if you’d like to use this entrance. If a member of your party requires a wheelchair in the theater, please reserve one seat at the end of a row. ASSISTED LISTENING DEVICES: The theater does not have assisted listening devices at this time.
Gallery – photos by Tom Kochie