Photo by Adam De Tour

Photo by Adam De Tour

MELINDA LOPEZ has a secret evil plan: to create complex, Latina women and put them center stage. She is the playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre, and part of the Mellon Foundations National Playwright Residency Program. She is currently developing a long-form series for Audible, ESCORIA, an immigration drama, set in 2018 and 1980, during the Mariel Boatlift.

Recent work includes: her adaptation of YERMA, (Huntington Theatre Company,) MALA, (Arts Emerson, The Guthrie Theatre, and the Huntington Theatre Company, Elliot Norton Award, Best New Play, Arts Impulse Award, Best Solo Performance) which is also available to download on Audible—coming soon in Spanish. BACK THE NIGHT, (Boston Playwrights Theatre) BECOMING CUBA, (Huntington Theatre Co, North Coast Rep) and SONIA FLEW (Elliot Norton Award, Huntington Theatre, Steppenwolf, Coconut Grove Playhouse, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, and many others.) Other plays include CAROLINE IN JERSEY, (Williamstown Theatre Festival), ORCHIDS TO OCTOPI (Central Square Theatre, commissioned by the National Institutes of Health), GARY, (Steppenwolf First Look Repertory, Boston Playwrights Theatre,) and many others. 

Melinda is also an actress, and has appeared in OUR TOWN, A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY, PERSEPHONE, (Huntington Theatre Company) GRAND CONCOURSE, APPROPRIATE, MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT, (SpeakEasy Stage,) GIRLS WAR, OIL THIEF (Boston Playwrights Theatre,) and roles with Shakespeare & Co, Portland Stage, The Guthrie Theatre and others.) She is also featured (and has become a meme) in the film FEVER PITCH.

She is active providing humanitarian aid for the people of Cuba, and was mentioned by President Obama in his speech to the Cuban and American people in 2016. Mayor Marty Walsh declared October 29, 2016 “Melinda Lopez Day in the city of Boston.  She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, giant yellow dog, and other critters., and occasionally sleeps on the ground in the American Southwest. She has run two marathons and plays a little ukulele.

Ms. Lopez teaches playwriting at Boston University & Wellesley College. She was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by the Kennedy Center to a “promising new voice in American Theatre.”

Production History

  • BECOMING CUBA (Huntington Theatre Company, 2014; North Coast Rep, 2013)

  • FROM ORCHIDS TO OCTOPI: AN EVOLUTIONARY LOVE STORY (Underground Railway Theatre, 2009; Commissioned by the NIH & MIT)

  • CAROLINE IN JERSEY (Williamstown Theatre Festival, August 2009)

  • BLOOD WEDDING translation (Suffolk University, April 2009)

  • ALEXANDROS (Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach CA, May 2008)

  • GARY (Steppenwolf Theatre Company First Look New Play Festival, summer 2007; Boston Playwrights Theatre, Boston MA, March 2008)

  • SONIA FLEW (Huntington Theatre Company, Boston MA, October 2004. Dir. Nicholas Martin; Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, 2006; Laguna Playhouse, 2006; Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, 2006-2007; Milagro Theatre, Portland OR, 2007; and ongoing)

  • HOW DO YOU SPELL HOPE? (Underground Railway Theatre, 2001. Ongoing)

  • GIRL MEETS BOY: A COMEDY ABOUT THE UNIVERSE (Boston Museum of Science, ongoing)

  • SCENES FROM A BORDELLO (Boston Playwrights Theater, 2000)

  • THE ORDER OF THINGS (CentaStage, Boston, 2000)

  • MIDNIGHT SANDWICH/MEDIANOCHE or GOD SMELLS LIKE A ROAST PIG (The Women on Top Theatre Festival, 1999; Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami FL, 1999; Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, 1999; Shakespeare and Company, Lenox MA, 2000)

  • BOSTON THEATRE MARATHON

  • THE LESSON (1999)

  • WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR (2000)

  • THE TWO FIFTEEN LOCAL (2002)

  • BAD SANTA (2010)

  • DOWNWARD FACING DOG (2011)

Awards

  • Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence (2019)

  • IRNE winner, Best New Play, Orchids to Octopi (2011)

  • Elliot Norton Award nominee, Best New Play, Gary (2008)

  • Elliot Norton Award winner, Best New Play, Sonia Flew (2004)

  • Elliot Norton Award winner, Best Production, Sonia Flew (2004)

  • IRNE winner, Best Production, Sonia Flew (2004)

  • IRNE winner, Best New Play, Sonia Flew (2004)

  • Massachusetts Cultural Council, Grant for Playwriting (2003)

  • Elliot Norton Award winner, Outstanding Solo Performance, God Smells Like a Roast Pig (1999)

  • The Kennedy Center Fund for New Plays, The Order of Things, recognizing "a promising new voice in American theatre." (1999)

  • The Charlotte Woolard Award (1999)

Publications

Artistic Residencies

  • Andrew Carnegie Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence, Huntington Theatre Company (2013-2016)

  • Sundance Festival Playwrights Retreat, UCROSS Foundation (Winter 2009)

  • Boston Arts Academy Teaching Residency (Fall 2007)

  • The Lark Playwrights' Center Playwriting Residency (Gary, Fall 2007)

  • Steppenwolf First Look New Play Development (Gary, Summer 2007)

  • Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellowship (2003-2005)

  • Harvard University Residency — Peter Ivers Fellowship (Spring 2001)

  • New York Theater Workshop Playwriting Residency (Summer 1999)

  • Dartmouth College Artist-in-Residence (Summer 1998)

Commissions

  • North Coast Rep, Becoming Cuba, 2012

  • Underground Railway Theatre and National Institutes of Health,Orchids to Octopi, Fall 2009

  • Suffolk University, translation/adaptation, Blood Wedding, April 2009

  • South Coast Rep, Caroline in Jersey, March 2008

  • Laguna Playhouse, Alexandros, December 2006

  • Underground Railway Theatre, How Do You Spell Hope?, 2000