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NATIVE GARDENS Opens At Gloucester Stage

NATIVE GARDENS Opens At Gloucester Stage

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater with Karen Zacarías' Native Gardens from September 27 through October 20 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. This contemporary comedy follows high-powered lawyer Pablo Del Valle, and his very pregnant wife, doctoral candidate Tania, who have just purchased a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank Butley. Soon a disagreement between the neighbors over a longstanding fence line derails their plans of realizing the American Dream.

Directed by Kelly Galvin in her GSC directing debut, the cast of Native Gardens features GSC veteran Patrick Shea returning to Gloucester Stage for the first time in 26 years to play Frank Butley, and GSC newcomers Eduardo Ruiz as Pablo Del Valle; Alaina Fragoso as Tania Del Valle; Leigh Strimbeck as Virginia Butley; and Jeomil Tovar and Fernando Barbosa as the Landscapers. Led by an entirely female creative team, including Director Kelly Galvin, GSC continues to support the Gender Parity initiative started by StageSource and benefit from the vibrant perspective this team brings to the table. Marcella Barbeau (Lighting Design), Jessica Brennan (Assistant Stage Manager), Madison Cook-Hines (Assistant Director), Lindsay Genevieve Fuori (Scenic Design), Chelsea Kerl (Costume Designer), Alexis Rappaport (Sound Design), Melissa Richter* (Production Stage Manager), and Emme Shaw (Props Design). Native Gardens is presented with production support from the Sawyer Free Library, discovering the past and creating the future.

Native Gardens playwright Karen Zacarías is one of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and is a core founder of the LATINX THEATRE COMMONS. A Washington, D.C resident, Ms. Zacarías is the founder of Young Playwrights' Theater, an award winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC.

Director Kelly Galvin is the founder of the rig, a project that brings live performance to audiences with limited access to professional theater. She is company member of Shakespeare & Company where she has directed The Taming of the Shrew, Love's Labor's Lost, and The Clean House (reading), and serves on the faculty of the Young Company Summer Conservatory. Ms. Galvin previously served as Artistic Associate for WAM Theatre, where she directed The Last Wife and readings of The Virgin Trial, The Tall Girls, and Blue Stockings. Regionally, she has directed for Southwest Shakespeare, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, Berkshire Playwrights' Lab, and The Theater at Woodshill. She has assisted at the Guthrie, Asolo Rep, Orlando Shakespeare, and Shakespeare & Company. Ms. Galvin received a 2018 Directing Fellowship at Asolo Rep and has completed Directing Internships with Arena Stage and the Huntington Theatre Company. She holds an MFA from Boston University and a BA from Wellesley College.

Alaina Fragoso makes her Gloucester Stage debut as Tania Del Valle. In New York she has originated roles in Convention (BHP, Irondale Center); Hope (a reading at Yoke Theatre Company), Murder at the Food Coop (NY Int'l Fringe Festival), and No One Asked Me (NY Int'l Fringe Festival/Encores). Ms. Fragoso is a graduate of Emerson College and the Atlantic Acting School.

Eduardo Ruiz is a Puerto Rican actor, from Mayagüez making his GSC debut as Pablo Del Valle. He received his BFA in theatre arts from the University of Puerto Rico and his MA in Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His recent credits include Vivace from Aristofanes' The Congresswomen, Claudio from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Oliver/Audrey from Shakespeare's As You Like It. Mr. Ruiz was also recently part of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Fellowship Company.

Native Gardens marks Patrick Shea's first appearance at Gloucester Stage in 26 years. His previous GSC productions were Benefactors, Wenceslas Square and The Last Yankee. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he began his career in the Acting Ensemble of the New York Shakespeare Festival and subsequently in the Broadway production of Child's Play. A veteran of Shear Madness in Boston, he also received a Dramalogue Critics Award for his performance in the Los Angeles production. He has appeared with The Huntington Theatre Company, Speakeasy Stage, New Rep, Merrimack Rep, Gloucester Stage, The Wilbur Theatre, The Nickerson Theatres and Worcester Foothills. Mr. Shea has performed as an actor and narrator with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Boston Lyric Opera. His film credits include Wait For Laugh, Infinitely Polar Bear, Ted, The Invention of Lying, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Killer Flood, and By the Sea. Mr. Shea's TV credits include Frontline, Brotherhood, Spencer: For Hire, The Late Show with David Letterman, Unsolved Mysteries, Cheers!, and Against the Law.

A Massachusetts native who grew up locally in Marblehead and Swampscott, Leigh Strimbeck makes her GSC debut as Virginia Butley. Most recently she appeared as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit with Voice Theatre of Woodstock, NY. Ms. Strimbeck is an Associate member of The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE); the former the Artistic Director of the Theatre Institute at Sage (TIS); an artist in residence in the theater program at Russell Sage College; and co-founder of WAM Theatre in The Berkshires. Her regional theater acting and directing credits include productions at Barrington Public Theater; Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble; WAM Theatre; The Rep in Albany, NY; Saratoga Shakespeare; Shakespeare and Co; Berkshire Playwrights Lab and Voice Theatre. Ms. Strimbeck's feature film credits include UnCivil Liberties, Fighting for Freedom, Little BiPeep, Deception, the short film Key Transitions and Lifetime Movie Network's Off the Rails.

Jeomil Tovar and Fernando Barbosa make their GSC debut as Landscapers in Native Gardens. Jeomil Tovar recently played the same role in Native Gardens at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Mr. Tovar's previous credits include various roles with The Firehouse Center for The Arts, Front Porch Arts Collective, Underlings Theatre Company, Marblehead Little Theatre, Heart & Daggers Productions, The Center of Arts in Natick, The Hanover Theatre, and Salem State University where he is currently pursuing his BFA degree in performance. A Boston based, actor, singer, and musician, Fernando Barbosa he is currently pursuing a BFA in acting from Salem State Universality. Mr. Barbosa's recent credits include All's Well that Ends Well and Cymbeline with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Assassins, Arts After Hours, and Jesus Christ Superstar at Marblehead Little Theatre; Children of Eden with the Theatre Company of Saugus; Macbeth at UMass Lowell; Cloud Tectonics, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Midsummer Night's Dream, Apollinaire (Elliot Norton Nom.), P.O.V, Umass Lowell.

Single Ticket prices are $15 to $48 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Senior Citizens, Military Families, and College Students and those under 18 years of age. For detailed ticket information visit

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2 PM: Gloucester Stage is committed to inclusion and diversity, including socio-economic status. Pay What You Wish performances are the first Saturday Matinee (2pm) of each production, allowing access to the arts for all. No one is turned away for lack of funds and donations can be made before or after the show.

CAPE ANN NIGHTS: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 7:30 PM; SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2 PM & 7:30 PM; WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, OCTOBER 9 & OCTOBER 16, 7:30 PM: Enriching our local community is key to our mission impact. Residents of Cape Ann can purchase $25 tickets at Preview Performances and every Wednesday of each production. Limit of 2 (two) per household. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office 978.281.4433, with a valid address.

POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS: SUNDAY: OCTOBER 6 & OCTOBER 13: Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, OCTOBER 6 and Sunday, OCTOBER 13, audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from Native Gardens.

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