'Mala' means 'bad.' Not that you have done something bad, but that you are, in your core, bad.
An utterly unsentimental journey towards the end of life, Mala is an irreverent exploration of how we live, cope and survive in the moment. Grounded in Lopez’s distinctive emotional language and sharp humor, this powerful one-woman show dances between doctors and urgent 911 calls, a mother’s growing frailty, and a daughter’s quest for grace— all set during an epic Boston winter. Rather than depict a “right way”, the play opens the door for conversation in our universal struggle to support those we love in dying, especially when all we’ve ever focused on is surviving.


A richly layered work! Piercingly honest, exquisitely moving. — The Boston Globe

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

A courageous performance!MetroWest Daily News

Remarkable. A gripping deep dive into examining death, our reaction to it, and how it can encourage us to value life.White Rhino Report

[Mala] opens the door for conversation in the universal struggle to support those they love in dying, especially when all they’ve ever known in life is how to survive.WickedLocal

Deeply affecting. Under the sensitive direction of David Dower, [Lopez] expresses her changes of mood and emotion without artifice, as if she were reliving the moments of the anguish and the joy of loving — and understanding — another person so fully. — TheaterMania

Production History

ArtsEmerson, Boston MA — Oct. 27 - Nov. 20, 2016. Directed by David Dower.

Guthrie theatre, October, 2017

huntington theatre company, January, 2019