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 TheMagical 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.