Theater Begins Here 

Karen Zacarias

Email the Playwright

Core Writers 2009 //  Core Writers 2008 //  Core Writers 2010 //  Core Writers 2011   

In 2008, Karen Zacarías had five world premieres:, the sold-out Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure at the Kennedy Center, the hit The Book Club Play at Round House Theater & later the Berkshire Summer Festival, and Looking for Roberto Clemente at Imagination Stage. Her adaptation of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents played at the Round House, and her play on Voltaire & Emilie du Chatelet, Legacy Of Light premiered at Arena Stage with Molly Smith directing. 2008 also saw the East/West Coast premieres of Mariela in the Desert.

Karen is the winner of the 2006 Francesca Primus Award for her play, Mariela in the Desert (World Premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago). Mariela is also the winner the 2005 TCG/AT&T First Stages Award, the 2004 National Latino Playwrights’ Competition, finalist for the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. Her play The Book Club Play was part of the O’Neill Playwrights Conference in 2007. Her play, The Sins of Sor Juana won Outstanding New Play at the 2000 Helen Hayes Awards and has been produced throughout the country. Karen is a core member of the Playwrights’ Center.

Her musical plays (with composer Debbie Wicks La Puma) for young people have enjoyed productions at The Goodman Theater, The Coterie, Chicago PlayWorks, Nashville Children’s Theater, The Alliance Theatre, Imagination Stage, Arden Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Honolulu Theater for Youth, St. Louis Rep and more. The plays include Einstein Is a Dummy, Ferdinand: The Bull, the mariachi-inspired The Magical Piñata, and salsa/hip-hop Cinderella Eats Rice And Beans: A Salsa Musical.

Karen Zacarías is the founding artistic director of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning non-profit dedicated to enhancing literacy, arts empowerment and conflict resolution through playwriting in Washington, DC area schools.

Karen Z lives in D.C. with her husband Rett, and children Nico, Kati, and Maia.

Search for published plays by Karen Zacarias...

The Book Club Play

Download Script Sample
Cast: 3 men 3 women 1 actor that plays both women and men

A biting adult comedy that looks at the impact of books on our lives and friendships,as we watch a tight knit book club dissolve when Alex, that smart, funny, and annoying guy, joins the group. Going to O'Neill 2007

Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans: A Salsa Musical

Cast: 2 women 2 men All singers The show works great with four actors, but easily expands for more, since the play takes place at school. The musical numbers work wonderfully with a big cast.

Sold out and extended at Imagination Stage (DC) and Depaul's Children's Theater (Chicago). What will happen to Cindrella at the ball...GAME? This contemporary Latin-American Cinderella musical delightfully turns the classic fairy tale on its head, telling the story from both Cinderella and the "step sister's" perspective.

Einstein is a Dummy

Download Script Sample
Cast: 4 men 1 woman Singers.

World Premiere! As an adult, Albert Einstein changed our view if the universe. But as a boy, he struggled with the same issues any tweleve-year-old might, violin recitals, impressing the girl next door, and -oh yeah, comprehending teh fundamental relationship between time and light! In this uplifting musical about an imaginary day in the life of Albert, we discover how imaginationa nd the help of a strange cat, can change the universe. Developed at New Vision New Voices. World Premiere at the Alliance Stage in Atlanta- Show Sold out and extended!

Ferdinand the Bull

Download Script Sample
Cast: 3 men 1 woman All singers

Produced all over the country, earning rave reviews at The Goodman Theatre, The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Oregon Children's Theatre and St. Louis Rep, this flamenco flavored musical dramatizes the beloved book by Munro Leaf, by creating a parallel subplot of a father who "bullies" his son into becoming something he is not: a bull fighter. With a punny, funny pig as Ferdinand's hammy sidekick, who tricks Ferdinand into entering the Bull Ring, the the dramatic showdown between bullied boy and Bull leaves audiences cheering.

Mariela in the Desert

Download Script Sample
Cast: Three women/ Three Men Mariela- Age 40 Jose- Age 60 Oliva- Age 60 Blanca- Age 20 Carlos- Age 18 Adam- Age 40

Winner of the TCG/ATT New Stges award. World Premiere at The Goodman Theatre. Mariela and José were once the golden couple of the Mexican artist inner-circle. Together they built a family and an artist colony to host friends like Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Rufino Tamayo. But now their daughter has grown and run away, Frida and Diego are too famous to call, and artistic inspiration has been strangled by isolation and lies. Set in an empty artists’ colony in the Mexican desert in 1950, this is deadly mystery of what happens to a family when creativity is forced to dry and wither away.

bottom rule

©2002-2014 The Playwrights' Center / All Rights Reserved | 2301 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406-1099 | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions