Williams Street Repertory announces return of “Native Gardens”  at Raue Center For The Arts

Williams Street Repertory announces return of “Native Gardens” at Raue Center For The Arts

Crystal Lake, Ill. – January 25, 2024

Live theater returns to Raue Center in 2024 with a hilarious comedy of manners “Native Gardens” by Karen Zacarias and directed by company member Michele Vazquez. 


 Williams Street Repertory, Raue Center For The Arts’ in-house professional theater company, is excited to bring this delightful comedy of good intentions and bad manners to its stage after a long hiatus due to COVID-19 shutdowns.  


“Native Gardens” opens on February 23, 2024, and runs on select dates through March 16, 2024. Williams Street Rep and Raue Center are also adding Thursday matinees at 2 pm for the first time this season. 


“We’ve had a lot of requests from patrons for programming during the week and in the afternoons. We wanted to provide our audience members with more options,” explains Raue Center’s marketing director, Meredith Schaefer.


“‘Native Gardens’ is one of the funniest shows you will ever see. Michele Vazquez is the perfect director for this play,” says Founding Artistic Director, Richard Kuranda.** “‘Native Gardens’ takes audiences on a whirlwind journey that we can all relate to and laugh at… and who couldn’t use a good laugh these days?”


Native Gardens follows two couples making the most of their American Dream. Pablo, a high-powered lawyer, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts, Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege, and entitlement. The hilarious results guarantee no one comes out smelling like a rose.

“No one is the villain in this show and there are no saints. The playwright, Karen Zacarias, has a tremendous amount of compassion for these characters and she has written them with love and patience,” says Director, Michele Vazquez. “That said, they are all wonderfully flawed and human, and as a result, a lot of hilarity ensues,” she continues. “Someone likened it to a contemporary ‘Dick Van Dyke Show.’ I think that’s right on.” 

WSRep has assembled a cast including Michael Lomenick (Frank), Shannon Mayhall (Virginia), Peter Briceño Gertas (Pablo), Jazmine Tamayo (Tania), and ensemble members David Rice*, Amy Delgado, Michael J. Santos, and Kelli Walker.


“I am excited about this cast. We have some familiar favorites returning, paired with new exciting talent. It is a fantastic mix,” says Vazquez. 


In addition to Vazquez, the production team for WSRep’s production of “Native Gardens” includes: 

Director: Michele Vazquez**

Executive Producer: Robin Hughes+

Stage Manager: Caitlin I. Quinn*

Scenic Designer: Richard Arnold

Costume Designer: Rae Melnik

Lighting Designer: Drake Dole

Sound Designer: Lindsay Burdsall

Props Master: Persephone Lawrence

Fight & Intimacy Coordinator: Claire Yearman

Technical Director: Lisa Giebler


Founding Artistic Director: Richard Kuranda+ 

Managing Director: Justin Wellington

Operations Manager: Jenna Klaproth

Director of Production: Chris Tumblin 

Production Manager: Ryan Meadow

Marketing Director: Meredith Schaefer


WSRep’s production of “Native Gardens” opens on February 23, 2024 and runs select dates through March 17, 2024 at Raue Center. For more information, please visit wsrep.org.

WSRep is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the American theatre. TCG has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the 

professional not-for-profit American theatre for over 50 years. 

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage  

  Managers in the United States.

** Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

+Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

Raue Center offers special seating arrangements and hearing devices for patrons with disabilities. Please call the box office at 815.356.9212 to make arrangements prior to the performance. 

Raue Center Box Office | 815.356.9212

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays |12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays 

Open 1 hour prior to the performance.