Melissa Leilani Larson
Melissa Leilani Larson is an award-winning LDS playwright and screenwriter.
Melissa Leilani Larson is originally from Hau'ula, Hawaii. She moved to Orem, Utah when she was 12. She has a BA in English from Brigham Young University and an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
The subject matter of Larson’s plays has ranged from Filipina-American mail-order brides (in The Church of St. Pinky at Katy, Texas) to Joan of Arc (in Martyrs' Crossing). However, Eric Samuelsen noted that she often writes historical drama that explores a "complicated and troubled relationship between two women."
Larson has acknowledged a focus on women in her work, saying: "As a woman and a playwright, I try to create solid female roles. At least one, but I usually get away with two or even three."
Larson stayed away from Mormon topics in her earlier works because she wanted to write to a wider audience. She started writing Little Happy Secrets—a play with Mormon characters—when she was living in Iowa City and working on her MFA. In a 2010 interview, Larson explained that she changed her mind about writing about Mormonism in the interest of following the adage "write what you know" and because she felt that it wouldn't be fair to herself or to her faith if she didn't write about Mormons at least once.
Awards 2001 Winner of the Arlene R. and William P. Lewis Playwriting Contest for Women for Lady in Waiting
Awards for Standing Still Standing:
- 2002 Winner of the Vera Hinckley Mayhew playwriting competition (under the title Wake Me When It's Over)
- 2002 AML Award for Drama honorable mention (under the title Wake Me When It's Over)
- 2006 Winner of the LDS Film Festival screenplay competition for film adaptation
2005 IRAM Award for best new play for Martyrs' Crossing
2009 AML Award for Drama for Little Happy Secrets
Lady in Waiting (Premiered August 1, 2001)
Standing Still Standing (July 17, 2002)
The Beggar's Opera (March 26, 2004)
Martyrs' Crossing (April 15, 2004)
A Flickering (February 23, 2006)
A Place Apart (March 1, 2007)
Hope Falls (March 22, 2007)
The Church of St. Pinky at Katy, Texas (May 5, 2007)
Up Deer Creek (April 10, 2008)
Cherry Pie (August 1, 2008)
A Burning in the Bosom (October 2008)
Little Happy Secrets (March 19, 2009)
Persuasion (November 6, 2009)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Little Happy Secrets with Melissa Leilani Larson." Mormon Expression, episode 70 (July 13, 2010)
- ↑ "Salt Lake Acting Company - Little Happy Secrets"
- ↑ Samuelsen, Eric. "Contrite Courage: Melissa Larson." The Provo Orem Word, issue no. 5 (June 2010), p. 78-81
- ↑ Jepson, Theric. "A brief interview with Melissa Leilani Larson just before closing weekend." A Motley Vision, April 16, 2010