Originally from Hau‘ula, Hawai‘i, Melissa Leilani Larson is a writer presently based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Produced plays include: The Edible Complex (Plan-B Theatre commission), Pilot Program, Pride and Prejudice (Brigham Young University commission), Little Happy Secrets, Persuasion, Martyrs’ Crossing, A Flickering, The Weaver of Raveloe, Lady in Waiting, and the upcoming Mountain Law. Films include Freetown (winner of the Ghana Movie Award for Best Screenplay and the Utah Film Award for Best Picture) and Jane and Emma (in pre-production).
Mel is the only woman to receive more than one Association for Mormon Letters Drama award, and is the youngest person to win a total of three (the only other playwrights to win three are Eric Samuelsen and Tim Slover). Other honors include: the IRAM Best New Play award; a Salt Lake City Weekly Arty Award; the Mayhew Playwriting Award; winning the Lewis National Playwriting Contest for Women; placing as a Trustus Playwrights Festival finalist; and being named an O’Neill National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist.
Mel is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, serving as the Utah Ambassador. She is also a member of The Lab, Plan-B Theatre’s incubator for new plays. She holds a BA in English from BYU and an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Mel enjoys melty cheese, hedgehogs, puzzles, nice paper, and nicer pens.