"Melinda Lopez proves again that she's one of the city's most important writers." — WBUR
"MASTERFUL! Outstanding performances & visual grandeur!" Berkshire Fine Arts
"Playwright Melinda Lopez is a writer of expressive vitality." — The Boston Globe
"Enlightening, thoughtful & humorous. We learn much and leave the better for it." — Cape Cod Times

In 1897 Cuba on the eve of the Spanish-American War, spirited widow Adela runs a pharmacy, indifferent to the mounting conflict around her. But when the rebellion comes home to Havana, she must choose between loyalty to country or to family. By turns funny, steamy, and political, this powerful new drama from Playwright-in-Residence Melinda Lopez (Sonia Flew)  asks whether freedom is something we all want. Huntington Associate Producer M. Bevin O’Gara directs. 

"Since I arrived at the Huntington, people have asked when we would stage another new play by Melinda Lopez. Becoming Cuba is exuberant, passionate, and well worth the wait. It’s an incredible way to kick off Melinda’s new position as the Huntington’s playwright-in-residence."— Peter DuBois
Becoming Cuba takes me back to my favorite theatrical territory – mining big stories rooted in a shared history of the US and Cuba. I am thrilled to be returning to the Huntington, my artistic home, and I am especially excited to again work with Director M. Bevin O’Gara. Bevin understands my sensibility and my humor, and I trust her to wring the most and the best from my work. We are a terrific team.”— Melinda Lopez



Jump to: Photos


  • Becoming Collaborators: Melinda Lopez & M. Bevin O'Gara

    Playwright Melinda Lopez and director Bevin O'Gara have been working on Becoming Cuba for over 2 years, but their history together stretches back for more than a decade. Learn more about their relationship in this exclusive interview.



  • Peter DuBois on Becoming Cuba

    The Huntington's production of Melinda Lopez's Becoming Cuba marks a major milestone in the history of the company. Artistic Director Peter DuBois talks about bringing playwright Melinda Lopez back to the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, where her play Sonia Flew was the inaugural production in 2004, and providing Associate Producer M. Bevin O'Gara with her first opportunity to direct a full production on the Huntington's stage.



  • Becoming Cuba First Rehearsal: the Meet & Greet

    Join us at the first rehearsal for Becoming Cuba, and hear opening remarks from Artistic Director Peter DuBois, playwright Melinda Lopez, and director M. Bevin O'Gara. 



  • Becoming Cuba Scenic Design Presentation

    Director M. Bevin O'Gara shares research, inspiration, and renderings for the set of Becoming Cuba by scenic designer Cameron Anderson. 



  • Family, Revolution, and Becoming Cuba

    Becoming Cuba is set during the Spanish-American war, but it also tells us a lot about recent events in Egypt, Ukraine, and beyond. Playwright Melinda Lopez, director M. Bevin O'Gara, and members of the cast discuss the surprising relevance of this stirring new drama and the touching family story at its center.



  • What Audiences Are Saying About Becoming Cuba

    Havana is hot! Hear what audiences are saying about Becoming Cuba, and get a sneak peek at scenes from the hit production.



  • Melinda Lopez: Documenting a Dream

    Playwright Melinda Lopez speaks with Howlround / Theater Commons about the first year of her residency at the Huntington. An ongoing video series presented by Miranda Craigwell, shot and edited by Alesha Gunn.


  • Melinda Lopez on WGBH Open Studios

    WGBH Open Studios Host Jared Bowen speaks with playwright Melinda Lopez about the production (interview begins ~6:11).


  • The Cuban Connection

    Cuban blood runs thick in Melinda Lopez's stirring new drama, both onstage and off. The family at the center of Becoming Cuba is portrayed by three actors who all share Cuban heritage — and the real-life parallels don't stop there. Discover the heartwarming connections to Cuban history in this exclusive video interview.



  • "Becoming Cucho" (Lorde Parody)

    The story of Becoming Cuba as told through the eyes of the young orphan Chucho, played by Brandon Barbosa. Based on the song "Royals" by Lorde; parody lyrics by John J King with Brandon Barbosa.





  • U.S. Journalists in Cuba

    "American journalists in this period have kind of a bad reputation. We think of them all as yellow journalists, just down there making up stories, but there were also a core of several really serious, well-intentioned journalists. They put their lives in danger, embedded with the troops, and were dedicated to writing the news as truthfully as they could. I've created a fictional journalist, but drawn from the biographies of several real journalists: Sylvester H. Scovel, Grover Flint, and Richard Harding Davis." — Playwright Melinda Lopez


  • A Timeline of the Cuban Revolution

    A timeline of events leading to the Cuban revolution before the start of the play.


  • Melinda Lopez's Cuba

    The child of two Cuban nationals, Lopez can trace the path of the Cuban wars for liberation through her family tree, and the spark for this play is born out of an ancestral myth.


  • Melinda Lopez on Juan of the Dead

    Playwright Melinda Lopez discusses the surprising similarities between her play Becoming Cuba and the recent Cuban zombie film Juan of the Dead.


  • The World Before the Play: The Road to Rebellion

    Becoming Cuba is set late in the year 1897, just months prior to the explosion of the USS Maine and the start of the Spanish-American War. Here is a look back at the major historical figures of the years immediately prior. 


  • An Interview with Melinda Lopez

    In the 10 years since her play Sonia Flew inaugurated the Wimberly Theatre, playwright Melinda Lopez has been produced all over the country and has frequently returned to the Huntington as an actor. She now serves as the theatre’s first playwright-in- residence. Dramaturg Charles Haugland spoke with her prior to rehearsals about the genesis of the play and what fascinates her so much about this period in history.


Press Reviews

Jump to: Audience Buzz | Features
"Playwright Melinda Lopez is a writer of expressive vitality . . . She and [director M. Bevin] O'Gara demonstrate a shrewd understanding of the ways that the contradictions and conflicts within a family can mirror those of a nation." — The Boston Globe
"FASCINATING, PERSONAL & PASSIONATE! AN UNFORGETTABLE TRIUMPH! M. Bevin O'Gara's direction is remarkable, and all of the cast are at the top of their game." South Shore Critic
"Melinda Lopez proves again that she's one of the city's most important writers." — WBUR
"Enlightening, thoughtful & humorous. We learn much and leave the better for it." — Cape Cod Times
"MASTERFUL! A shining example of historical drama . . . OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES! Adela is played with beautiful elegance and depth by Christina Pumariega. Martina is played passionately by Rebecca Solewr . . . There is visual grandeur. Cameron Anderson's beautiful set is a handsome 19th century apothecary. The lighting by Yi Zhao is poetic, while the costumes by Andrea Hood are beautiful and timely." Berkshire Fine Arts
"Juan Javier Cardenas is compelling and charismatic as Manny." — The Boston Globe
"Marianna Bassham is excellent in a part that calls for both humor and pathos, both of which she delivers beautifully." — WBUR
More Reviews

Audience Buzz

"LOVE it! Still thinking about it. So happy to have Melinda Lopez in our midst!— Jean H., via Facebook
"I saw the play last Sunday and was carried back to my roots (born in Cuba) and its independence heroes: Antonio Maceo, Jose Marti, Maximo Gomez. It is masterfully written and the acting is superb. I loved Martina, the sister of the main character, Adela. She steals the show!! Highly recommend it."— Alberto C., via Facebook
"Very moving! The play is still relevant today because it shows a person’s thought process in making difficult decision such as how to make a living, how to deal with corruption, how honor and know when to let go old duties."— Hsiu C., via Facebook
"Wow, _Becoming Cuba_ at the Huntington was really excellent. Best play I've seen there."— @ScottMadin
"Really enjoyed #becomingcuba at @huntington! 'Blood will have blood.' I recommend it to anyone in #Boston."— @DarielSuarez1
"@huntington a beautiful production of Melinda Lopez's ambitious play #BecomingCuba. Bravo!"— @Dahlface33
"Melinda Lopez does it again! Get your tickets to #BecomingCuba @huntington to see this beautiful play. Mazal tov to the cast & crew."— @gbenaharon
"Just saw the @huntington's 'Becoming Cuba' by Melinda Lopez. Brilliant play! If you can catch it, I highly recommend you do so."— @ChelaBK
"Last night I saw Becoming Cuba and it was just incredible.In two hours I went through a whole range of emotions and that's why I love theatre. #huntington #theatre #incredible"— @KeatyKat via Instagram


  • Prize-winning Alum Returns to Huntington with Becoming Cuba

    From BU Today, April 8, 2014: "It’s been 10 years since Melinda Lopez’s play Sonia Flew inaugurated the the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Familiar to Huntington Theatre Company audiences as an actor (she last appeared in David Cromer’s staging of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Lopez (GRS’00) the playwright is back with Becoming Cuba, a rich and riveting story set in Havana during the Spanish-American War . . . "
  • Becoming Cuba Imagines a Revolutionary Reality

    From The Boston Globe, March 28, 2014: "It all began with the legend of Mama Juana, playwright Melinda Lopez’s feisty great-grandmother who lived during the Cuban War of Independence. Lopez never quizzed her great-grandmother, but that small snippet of history from her ancestral homeland was the inspiration for her play Becoming Cuba . . . "
  • Playwright Seeks To Tell Story Not Effect Change

    From The Coast News, June 7, 2013: "If the North Coast Repertory Theatre had had a curtain, playwright Melinda Lopez would have been a bundle of nerves before it went up. Speaking from her home in Boston, where she teaches theater and performance at Wellesley College and playwriting at Boston University, Lopez said that she was excited about her play Becoming Cuba taking stage for the first time. . . . "


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