Drama lovers will have the rare opportunity on April 9 to see Huntington Theatre Company’s Mala, a poignant one-woman play that delivers a moving portrait of the ways taking care of family tests, deepens and changes our bonds to the ones we love.
Written and performed by local playwright and performer Melinda Lopez, Mala tells her story of caring for her increasingly frail and ever-fierce mother. Consistently sold out during its Boston run, Mala was taped by WGBH in 2018. It will make its broadcast debut on WGBH 2 and YouTube TV on Thursday, April 9 at 10pm. The play will also be available to stream following the broadcast in the WGBH TV & Streaming section.
“At the time this was filmed, we were so grateful to the Huntington and to WGBH for their interest in capturing this show during its return to Boston,” said David Dower, artistic director of ArtsEmerson, a collaborator in this effort. “But we had no idea how urgent and moving it would become to have it available to air in the middle of this moment.”
Set during the epic snowfalls of 2015, Mala is inspired by notes that Lopez frantically typed to herself on an iPhone while she cared for her mother. These short missives ultimately became the play, which also stars Lopez.
“Theater is a powerful medium to process challenging times,” says Jon Abbott, president and CEO of WGBH. “With our Boston theaters dark, we are thrilled to be able to bring this important work to local audiences. Our shared commitment to the arts strengthens us as a community.”
After performing to sold-out houses during its 2016 world premiere engagement at ArtsEmerson, Mala won the 2017 Elliot Norton Award for Best New Script. Huntington Theatre Company presented a return engagement of the ArtsEmerson production at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in January 2018, where WGBH recorded and produced the broadcast. Mala went on to play a successful run at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater.
“Each time I have seen Mala, I leave the theater with a sense of breathless joy and optimism,” says Peter DuBois, Artistic Director of the Huntington Theatre Company. “Lopez’s message of resilience seems especially relevant now, when so many of us feel isolated as caregivers who are worried about a parent or mentor."
Watch Mala on WGBH 2 and YouTube TV on April 9 at 10pm.