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Melissa Leilani Larson is an award-winning writer from Provo, Utah. MARTYRS’ CROSSING (IRAM Best New Play) debuted at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE enjoyed a sold-out run at Brigham Young University last March. Her screenplay FREETOWN, presently filming in Ghana, will be in theaters next April. Other plays include LITTLE HAPPY SECRETS (Association for Mormon Letters Drama award), A FLICKERING (Trustus Playwrights Festival finalist), STANDING STILL STANDING (Mayhew award), and LADY IN WAITING (Lewis National Playwriting Contest for Women winner). A Dramatists Guild ambassador for Utah, Mel holds a BA in English from BYU and an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
As we talked with Melissa about writing drama via dialogue she whipped this one out on us:
“One thing I like about drama is that it is a safe place to ask questions” and then “If we can’t ask questions about ourselves, if we can’t laugh at ourselves in a fictional context, what are we doing everyday of the rest of our lives? Taking ourselves too seriously.”
Who knew writing plays would cause one to think more honestly about the human experience.
Sound Recording of Happy Little Secrets
Melissa co-wrote the stageplay for a musical I just helped produce the debut of in Boston. The Weaver of Raveloe based on the novel Silas Marner. Cool to hear more about her work.
This was a delightful interview, Melissa and interviewers. I look forward to listening to Little Happy Secrets, and enjoyed the discussion of how your Mormon plays were received by different groups.