The Des Moines Playhouse presents Native Gardens

Native Gardens

The Des Moines Playhouse asks the question, “Do good fences make good neighbors?” in the new comedy Native Gardens, June 2-18, 2023. Tickets may be purchased online at and by phone at 515.277.6261. Native Gardens is sponsored by EMC Insurance Companies. 

Pablo, a rising attorney, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, have just purchased a home next to Frank and Virginia, a well-established, semi-retired D.C. couple with a prize-worthy English garden. Frank spends most of his free time perfecting his manicured garden to win the award from the Potomac Horticultural Society. Pablo and Tania have big plans for their fixer-upper, including a native garden made of plants indigenous to the environment. With plans to replace the run-down chain link fence that separates the two, a delicate disagreement over a long-standing property line soon spirals into an all-out border dispute, exposing both couples’ notions of race, taste, class, and privilege.

“Native Gardens is a true breath of comic fresh air. It’s a biting, perceptive, and ultimately hopeful sendup to our fraught relationships with those around us – even right next door. Beyond snappy one-liners and garden hose fights, the play challenges audiences to look beyond petty differences and rediscover our shared decency.” – DC Theatre Scene


The Playhouse cast includes Javier Anselmo, Virginia Babeu, Greg Blumhagen, Cédric Fevrier, Gabriela Fuentes, Noah Hackbart, and Cate Miller. Native Gardens is co-directed by Katy Merriman and Lorenzo Sandoval, with set design by Nicholas Amundson, costume design by Jessica Van Essen, and lighting design by Amanda Pichler.


The Playhouse mission, as one of Iowa’s largest and oldest producing theatres, is to create extraordinary, shared experiences through live theatre. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.

Native Gardens
Native Gardens actors Javier Anselmo and Gabriela Fuentes.

Native Gardens Performances June 2-18, 2023

7:30 PM Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2:00 PM Sundays

The IRIS Sensation Team will provide audition description at the 2:00 PM, Sunday, June 18, performance. The Playhouse can provide for those who have need for ASL translations with advance notice. Please contact The Playhouse ticket office at 515-277-6261 to use these free services. 

Native Gardens Tickets: Tickets start at $29, To purchase:, 515-277-6261, or Des Moines Playhouse ticket office, 831 42nd St, Des Moines, IA 50312

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