DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver debut of the comedy ‘Native Garden’ is a study in what is means to be a good neighbor.

LINK: For Tickets & Information for “Native Gardens”

“That’s the question at the crux of the play ‘Native Gardens’, do fences make good neighbors? And I will tell you this, there is a story on both sides of the fence at all times. The play examines what the idea of being a good neighbor and being a good American is,” said Karen Zacarias, playwright.

native gardens 1 Denver Debut Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor In The Garden (credit DCPA)

The Butleys live on one side of the fence, and the Del Valles live on the other side of the fence. When the property line comes into dispute, it touches off an epic battle that grows to include politics and personalities.

Watch Critic At Large Greg Moody’s Review Of Native Gardens:

“So if you manage to laugh, it means you’ve kind of surrendered to the moment and you can listen in a different way. You’re not being defensive,” Zacarias told CBS4.

The production is staged in the round, which means the audience becomes part of the show.

native gardens 2 Denver Debut Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor In The Garden (credit DCPA)

“The audience is, well, number one, they’re in the garden. They’re either in the Butley’s garden, or the Del Valle’s garden, so they’re kind of inside the story with the characters. And because of the fence, you’re sitting on one side of the fence or the other. I believe it has an effect on who you might side with, but really the audience is inside the predicament,” said Lisa Portes, the director of “Native Gardens.”

The goal of the show is to present contentious viewpoints with the hope that the audience will come to a new understanding of how to approach people with whom they disagree.

native gardens 3 Denver Debut Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor In The Garden (credit DCPA)

“I hope that over time, they come to like all the characters, and see all the perspectives and then ultimately see that it’s a silly fight,” Portes told CBS4.

“At the end, these are four good people who want to be good people, and want to be good neighbors,” Zacarias said.

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