Approaching Zanzibar had its premiere on April 8, 1989, at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City. It was directed by Carole Rothman, and featured Jane Alexander as Charlotte, Harris Yulin as Wally, Clayton Barclay Jones as Turner, and Angela Goethals as Pony, with Bethel Leslie as Olivia Childs.
Its production history includes a 1997 appearance at the Southwark Playhouse in London, and one at the Player’s Club in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, in 2016.
Playwright Howe drew inspiration for Approaching Zanzibar from her admiration for environmental, site-specific artists such as Christo
Approaching Zanzibar guide sections