Season 24: MALA by Melinda Lopez


MALA by Melinda Lopez

Co-Producers Brian Shnipper &
A.R. Nicholas
Directed by Brian Shnipper
Featuring Julana Torres as “Mala”

Mala is a first generation child caring for her dying mother. She zig zags between her own family and career, doctors, urgent 911 calls, her mother’s growing frailty, and a bone-chilling Boston winter. An unsentimental, irreverent one-woman show by Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright in residence, Melinda Lopez.

“An exquisitely fashioned theater piece, brimming with humor, frustration and honesty as biting as the wind, snow and Arctic fantasy that blow through it.” – WBUR The ARTery


Micah Steury, Stage Manager
Megan Wilkerson, Scenic Design
Carl Faber, Lighting Design
Matt Weins, Sound Design
Reina Solunaya, Assistant Director
Laura Savage, Associate Scenic Design

Run time: Approximately 75 minutes, no intermission

Sunday September 15
Growing Old With Grace and Dignity: A Discussion About Life Choices and the Dignity Act

Thursday September 19
Taking Care of Yourself as You Care for an Aging Parent (or Loved One)

presented in partnership with Latino Network


Melinda Lopez (photo from

Melinda Lopez is the play­wright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company. Mala (Arts Emerson, 2016) won the 2016 Elliot Norton Award for Best New Play, and ran at the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis (Oct. 2017) and Huntington Theatre Company, Boston (January 2018). Upcoming projects include a translation of Yerma (Lorca) at The Huntington Theatre, June 2019. Her award-winning play Sonia Flew (Elliot Norton Award, IRNE Award) has been produced all over the country including: Huntington Theatre Company, Steppenwolf, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Contemporary American Theater Festival, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and many others. Other plays include Becoming Cuba, (Huntington Theatre Company,) Back the Night, (Boston Playwrights Theatre,) Caroline in Jersey (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Orchids to Octopi (Central Square Theater, commissioned by the National Institutes of Health for the Darwin bicentennial), Gary (Steppenwolf First Look Repertory, BPT), Alexandros (Laguna Playhouse),  Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche (Elliot Norton Award Outstanding Solo Performance, Coconut Grove Playhouse), and multiple short plays. Ms. Lopez is among the first cohort of playwrights to receive a three-year residency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and she was the first recip­ient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by The Kennedy Center to a “promising new voice in American theatre.” She has served as a panel member for the City of Boston, the NEA, the Cambridge Arts Panel and she has enjoyed residencies with Sundance, the Lark, the New York Theatre Workshop, and Harvard University. Ms. Lopez is also an actress and has appeared at the Huntington, Our Town, Persephone, A Month in the Country, and The Rose Tattoo. Other credits include The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Anna in the Tropics and Theatre District (SpeakEasy Stage Company), Oil Thief and A Girls War (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Portland Stage), and Many Colors Make the Thunder-king (Guthrie Theater). She is featured in the movie Fever Pitch.  She teaches theatre studies at Wellesley College and playwriting at Boston University. Melinda was mentioned by President Obama in his joint address to the Cuban and American people, and Mayor Marty Walsh declared Oct 29, 2016, “Melinda Lopez Day” in the City of Boston. She is active in the local Cuban American community and works to provide humanitarian aid the the people of Cuba. (more information at


Brian Shnipper conceived and directed the world premiere of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (Los Angeles Drama Critics Award) at the Coronet Theatre. It has since been performed in over 100 theatres around the world, including the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York, ACT in San Francisco, La Jolla Playhouse, Trinity Rep and Syracuse Stage, featuring actors such as Debra Messing, Zachary Quinto, Alfre Woodard, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Matthew Broderick, Kathy Najimi and Amy Brenneman. Off Broadway: Standing on Ceremony (New York Theatre Workshop) the world premiere of Will Scheffer’s Alien Boy (OOBR Award), Lubna and Family Commitment (EST). Regional credits include A View of the Mountains (Pasadena Playhouse), US premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s The Best Brothers, Red, Opus and Bell, Book and Candle (Ensemble Theatre Company), Miracle on South Division Street, The Road to Appomattox (Colony Theatre), ICU starring Caroline Aaron (Circle X Theatre Co.), Voice of Good Hope about the life of Barbara Jordan starring Frankie Faison (Luna Stage – Star Ledger’s pick for the Year’s 10 Best). His passion for new work led him to serve as producer of ETC’s WET INK New Play Festival where he has directed readings of new works by Constance Congdon, Kira Obolensky and Albert Innaurato. The world premiere of Wendy MacLeod’s Undescended, Say You Love Satan and All the Rage (Attic Theatre, Artistic Director 2008 – 2010). He served as Artistic Director for 12 Miles West Theatre Company in New Jersey (1998 – 2001) where his credits include the world premieres of Joyce Carol Oates’ Separated and Nagle Jackson’s Barney Downsized. And this barely scratches the surface of Brian’s experience!

A.R. Nicholas is a playwright and producer who has returned to Portland after 20 years in New York and Los Angeles. Her plays include Petting Zoo Story (Primary Stages ESPA & NY Shorts Festival), Villa Thrilla (; Our Dark Connection, The Elegant Dinner, Searching for Mary Jane (commissioned for Theatre in the Dark, Odyssey Theatre, LA Weekly Theatre Award nominee); Lu/Lou (Dorothy Lyman), The Beaver Suite (Friends and Artists Theatre & Metropolitan Stage, NYC) Buddha Belly and Incunabula, performed for radio by LA Theatre Works, available on Audible. Other plays produced at Sacred Fools, Interact, EST, The Ape Theatre and Rogue Machine (LA), Portland Women’s Theatre and Women’s Theatre Project, Ft. Lauderdale. She is a winner of the Mach33 Science in Theatre prize at Caltech (2018), and a 2017 participant in the William Inge Play Lab. Her plays have won or been a finalist at The Dennis & Victoria Ross Foundation, the Sundance Theatre Lab, Ebell, Susan Glaspell Prize, Route 66 (Chicago), Centenary Stages (New Jersey), CoHo Theatre (Portland) and the Lila Acheson Wallace fellowship. Producing credits include Tom Jacobson’s Captain of the Bible Quiz Team for Rogue Machine Theatre as part of its award-winning 2016 season and her own Villa Thrilla. She has taught writing at the University of Oregon and has worked with the Ojai Playwrights Conference as Managing Director and dramaturg. She is a core writing and acting member of EST/LA as well as company member of Rogue Machine, Circle X, The Victory, Sacred Fools and The Ape Theatre companies. She blogs for the LA Female Playwright’s Initiative and is a member of The Dramatists Guild, Alliance of LA Playwrights, RWA Published Authors Network, SAG/AFTRA and Actors Equity Association. More information at

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