Melissa Leilani Larson

Melissa Leilani Larson

Originally from Hau'ula, HI, Melissa Leilani Larson is a writer presently based in Provo, UT. Her play PILOT PROGRAM (Plan-B Theatre Company) sold out its world premiere run and was nominated by Salt Lake City Weekly for Best Original Play. Brigham Young University commissioned her to adapt Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and she is writing the book for a new musical THE WEAVER OF RAVELOE (ART Oberon)....
Originally from Hau'ula, HI, Melissa Leilani Larson is a writer presently based in Provo, UT. Her play PILOT PROGRAM (Plan-B Theatre Company) sold out its world premiere run and was nominated by Salt Lake City Weekly for Best Original Play. Brigham Young University commissioned her to adapt Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and she is writing the book for a new musical THE WEAVER OF RAVELOE (ART Oberon). Utah Valley University produced MARTYRS' CROSSING at the Edinburgh Fringe. She wrote the feature film FREETOWN, which was shot entirely in Ghana, premiered in Accra, and won the 2015 Ghana Movie Award for Best Screenplay, in addition to opening in more than 100 U.S. cinemas nationwide. Two of Mel's plays (LITTLE HAPPY SECRETS and MARTYRS' CROSSING) are published in anthologies. SWEETHEART COME is a semi-finalist for the 2016 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Other honors include: Lewis National Playwriting Contest for Women winner; Mayhew Playwriting award; IRAM Best New Play; Trustus Playwrights Festival finalist; and 3 Association for Mormon Letters Drama awards. Mel is the Dramatists Guild Ambassador for the Utah Region. MFA, Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Plays

  • The Edible Complex
    10-year-old Anna decides to stop eating so that she can look like the women she sees in magazines and on TV. But it's hard to ignore your food when it starts talking to you.
  • Sweetheart, Come
    SWEETHEART, COME is the story of a woman haunted by beautiful things. Emma Hauck realizes that her husband's political ambitions are changing him—and their marriage. She finds refuge in her writing, and in the unexpected friendship of a new servant. As both relationships grow more complex, Emma most face difficult truths about herself that she never knew existed. A new play about marriage, illness...
    SWEETHEART, COME is the story of a woman haunted by beautiful things. Emma Hauck realizes that her husband's political ambitions are changing him—and their marriage. She finds refuge in her writing, and in the unexpected friendship of a new servant. As both relationships grow more complex, Emma most face difficult truths about herself that she never knew existed. A new play about marriage, illness, and the power of a pencil.
  • Little Happy Secrets
    Claire and Brennan have been best friends for years. But when the two are brought back together after two years apart, Claire wonders if the feelings she has for Brennan might go beyond friendship.
  • Pilot Program
    What if you were called to serve in the restoration of polygamy? You could blog about it. An intimate look at first love, second wives, and last chances. PILOT PROGRAM is the story of Abigail and Jacob Husten, a childless couple who are asked to participate in a pilot program restoring polygamy to contemporary Mormon practice. "PILOT PROGRAM... is lyrically lovely and achingly uncomfortable, a...
    What if you were called to serve in the restoration of polygamy? You could blog about it. An intimate look at first love, second wives, and last chances. PILOT PROGRAM is the story of Abigail and Jacob Husten, a childless couple who are asked to participate in a pilot program restoring polygamy to contemporary Mormon practice. "PILOT PROGRAM... is lyrically lovely and achingly uncomfortable, a meditation on polygamy, a fascinating what-if fantasy, and a deeply moving chronicle of three people in point of crisis... The play is not a diatribe against polygamy. Larson’s work is always too intensely human to work as polemic."
  • Pride and Prejudice
    Almost from their first meeting, Elizabeth Bennet finds herself at odds with the reticent Mr. Darcy. She finds him cold and arrogant while he disapproves of her family and social standing. Brought together by events beyond their control, both must reconsider their first impressions. A crisp, new imagining of Jane Austen's most popular classic.
  • Persuasion
    Adapted from Jane Austen’s beloved final novel, PERSUASION is a bittersweet story of first love and second chances. Anne Elliot, persuaded by duty and title to give up marriage at a younger age, now finds herself face to face with the man she once refused. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this new take on Austen’s quiet masterpiece is refreshingly theatrical while remaining faithful to the original text.
    Adapted from Jane Austen’s beloved final novel, PERSUASION is a bittersweet story of first love and second chances. Anne Elliot, persuaded by duty and title to give up marriage at a younger age, now finds herself face to face with the man she once refused. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this new take on Austen’s quiet masterpiece is refreshingly theatrical while remaining faithful to the original text.
  • Martyrs' Crossing
    The story of Catherine, a Christian martyr who, after her death, is assigned to guide a young peasant girl as she becomes the woman history will revere as Joan of Arc. Accompanying Joan throughout her legendary career, Catherine finds that her influence directly affects the girl’s successes and failures. As Joan spirals toward the inevitable, Catherine questions her assignment and, ultimately, her own faith...
    The story of Catherine, a Christian martyr who, after her death, is assigned to guide a young peasant girl as she becomes the woman history will revere as Joan of Arc. Accompanying Joan throughout her legendary career, Catherine finds that her influence directly affects the girl’s successes and failures. As Joan spirals toward the inevitable, Catherine questions her assignment and, ultimately, her own faith. 2005 IRAM Best New Play.
  • Standing Still Standing
    Ben and Grace have been married for three years. Problem is, he’s slept through two of them. A contemporary love story that moves between the waking world, the online community, and dreams, STANDING STILL STANDING shows the strains chronic fatigue syndrome can put on a man’s life and marriage. This is a comedy about love and life — and staying awake for both.