Melinda Lopez

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Melinda Lopez is an actress, playwright, and educator from Boston, MA[1] She is the first ever playwright-in-residence for the Huntington Theatre Company.[2] She teaches theatre and performance at Wellesley College and playwriting at Boston University.[1]


As a playwright, Melinda Lopez has produced a sizable body of work that spans the last two decades and has garnered a variety of awards. Lopez's plays include Alexandros (Laguna Playhouse), Caroline in Jersey (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Sonia Flew, which premiered at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, MA in 2004 and won several Best New Play awards.[3] The Huntington’s production of Sonia Flew was the inaugural production at the Huntington's space for new work, the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.[4] Sonia Flew has since been produced for radio broadcast and in multiple other cities.[3] Lopez has also authored God Smells Like a Roast Pig (Women on Top Festival), The Order of Things (CentaStage), How do you Spell Hope? (Underground Railway Theatre), and a translation of Federico García Lorca's Blood Wedding for Suffolk University.[3] In 2009, she was commissioned by the National Institute of Health to author a work celebrating the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth, leading to her play From Orchids to Octopi, An Evolutionary Love Story.[5] In 2013, Melinda Lopez was made the first ever playwright in residence at the Huntington Theatre thanks to a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.[6] Lopez has held residencies with Harvard University, the New York Theatre Workshop, Sundance, and The Lark.[4] Lopez has also acted in regional theaters across the country, most recently with Huntington Theatre Company and Speakeasy Stage Company of Boston, MA.[2]

Lopez's works frequently focus on the stories of Cuban or Cuban-American characters. Her play Becoming Cuba is set in 1897 Havana on the eve of the Spanish–American War,[7] Alexandros centers on a Cuban family in exile,[8] Sonia Flew is about a woman who was sent to the United States from Cuba as a child in 1961,[9] and her one-woman show Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche (previously titled God Smells Like a Roast Pig) deals explicitly with Lopez's own struggle with her Cuban heritage.[10]

In November 2016 ArtsEmerson produced Lopez's work, Mala.[11] Mala is Lopez's one woman show about "an utterly unsentimental journey towards the end of life, Mala is an irreverent exploration of how we live, cope and survive in the moment."[12] The production was directed by David Dower, and will be remounted at the Calderwood Pavilion in January 2018 by the Huntington Theatre Company.

Personal life[edit]

Melinda Lopez lives with her husband and daughter in Boston, MA.[13] She has been a member of Actor's Equity Association since 1990.[13] She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and a Master of Arts from Boston University.[5] She is Cuban American, and works with Boston-area charities that give humanitarian aid to Cuba.[5] She is also a long distance runner and has completed two marathons.[5]



Show Role Company Year
Many Colors Make the Thunder-king Guthrie Theater 1997
A Month in the Country Lizaveta Bogdanovna Huntington Theatre Company 2002
The Rose Tattoo Assunta Huntington Theatre Company 2004
Anna in the Tropics Conchita Speakeasy Stage Company 2005
Persephone Persephone Huntington Theatre Company 2007
Oil Thief Amy Boston Playwrights' Theatre 2008
The Motherf**ker with the Hat Victoria Speakeasy Stage Company 2012
Our Town Mrs. Gibbs Huntington Theatre Company 2013
Appropriate Toni Speakeasy Stage Company 2015
Mala ArtsEmerson 2016
Grand Concourse Shelley Speakeasy Stage Company 2017


Year Award Category Work Result
1999 Charlotte Woolard Award recognizing "a promising new voice in American theatre." The Order of Things Won
1999 Elliot Norton Award Outstanding Solo Performance God Smells Like a Roast Pig Won
2003 Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for Playwriting Won
2004 Independent Reviewers of New England Best New Play Sonia Flew Won
2004 Independent Reviewers of New England Best Production Sonia Flew Won
2004 Elliot Norton Award Best New Play Sonia Flew Won
2004 Elliot Norton Award Best Production Sonia Flew Won
2008 Elliot Norton Award Best New Play Gary Nominated
2011 Independent Reviewers of New England Best New Play From Orchids to Octopi Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Melinda Lopez | "One of Boston's Most Important Writers" — WBUR". Melinda Lopez. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ a b "Melinda Lopez | Huntington Theatre Company". Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  3. ^ a b c "Melinda Lopez » Boston Playwrights' Theatre". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  4. ^ a b "About". Melinda Lopez. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  5. ^ a b c d "Melinda Lopez". Wellesley College. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  6. ^ "Mellon funds playwright residencies". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  7. ^ "Becoming Cuba". Melinda Lopez. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  8. ^ "Alexandros". Melinda Lopez. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  9. ^ "Sonia Flew". Melinda Lopez. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  10. ^ "Midnight Sandwich / Medianoche". Melinda Lopez. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  11. ^ "ArtsEmerson: Mala". Emerson College (ArtsEmerson). Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  12. ^ "Mala". Melinda Lopez. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  13. ^ a b " | News #038; Media". Retrieved 2015-12-01.