Lopez was born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico in 1969. At age five she emigrated with her family to the United States where they settled in El Paso, Texas. She graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts before obtaining a BA in film and screenwriting from Columbia College Chicago, and an MFA in screenwriting from the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.
She is the author of “Real Women Have Curves”, the movie that launched America Ferrara’s career and a film that Lopez started writing at an early age of 11. Now, she is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her award winning play by having it published in two volumes: “Real Women Have Curves & Other Plays” and “Detained in the Desert & Other Plays”. We asked her to share her experiences as a Latina writer with Quinceanera.com.
Why is it important that your plays be published?
Since plays can only be seen by a small number of people because it’s live theater, I wanted more people to enjoy my stories. I’ve written more than 15 plays and screenplays and I want people to know that I’ve written many more works besides Real Women Have Curves. I would also like my other works to be taught in High Schools and universities so I wanted to make them accessible to academia. I have been writing plays since I was 11 so these two volumes contain my most powerful and successful works. They are all about the Latino experience and or explore the value and power of women. I am very proud of my work and hope that especially young women all over the U.S. discover my work and that it speaks to them. I remember how inspired I was when I read Luis Valdez when I was 17 and felt his work spoke directly to me.
Which play is your favorite?
My plays are like my children and I love all of them equally. Even though Real Women Have Curves is my most successful play to date, all of my plays are an aspect of me, and my evolution into becoming a woman and a conscious human being. I like all of them, even the ones that are flawed here and there because they capture me at my most vulnerable.
Is it true you are working on the musical version of Real Women Have Curves for Broadway?
Yes. I have the libretto almost ready and the composer is now working on the music. A Broadway producer is working with us to get the libretto and the music ready to be seen by potential investors. This new version of Real Women Have Curves will take place in the present and will deal with the Dream Act. I have a great opportunity right now with this new work to address a lot of the injustices concerning immigration.
What are you working on now?
I am always working on so many projects at once because sometimes things take too long to come to fruition. I am mostly focusing on writing plays and fiction right now. I am working on my next novel The Ave Maria Bed and Breakfast and a few plays that I will be presenting at my new theater CASA 0101. One plays is called Remembering Boyle Heights, which will celebrate the multi-cultural community of Boyle Heights in the 40s, and another is A Cat Named Mercy, which deals with the ridiculousness of Health Care in the U.S.