San Diego

‘The Luckiest' Playwright Draws on Personal History for New Play

"It was one of those moments where life stops for a moment, and you have to regroup and figure things out," says playwright Melissa Ross on the series of life events that inspired her new piece.

Several years ago, Playwright Melissa Ross had a bad accident: she tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus. At the same time, she lost someone close to her: her grandmother. 

"It was one of those moments where life stops for a moment," Ross told NBC 7 in a phone interview. "And you have to regroup and figure things out." 

At the time, the playwright knew she would revisit this point in her life and write about it. 

A few years later, Ross started writing "The Luckiest," a play inspired by a tough period in her life.

"The Luckiest" follows a vibrant and independent woman suddenly shaken by a sudden diagnosis that changes life as she knows it. The piece was developed, in part, at La Jolla Playhouse's DNA New Works Series in 2018. 

None of the events in the play directly parralel Ross' life, the playwright said, but she drew on her own experiences when writing the script. Ross hopes that writing from this place of authenticity turns into something universal when it unfolds inside a theater. 

"The more that your writing contains pieces of authenticity about yourself, the more that it connects to universal themes and things that a lot of people have felt," Ross said. 

"The Luckiest" has been in the works for about three years, and through each draft and workshop, Ross wanted to keep as much authenticity in the piece as she could. 

"We all experience loss, we all experience fear, we all experience the desire to be accepted and loved," Ross said. "There's true human conditions we all go through life pursuing, wanting, feeling, thinking." 

Ross hopes that audiences leave thinking about the preciousness of life and how they live their life: how lucky we are to be alive, and how lucky we are to have the people that we have in our lives. 

"There' moments in our life where we wish we hadn't [taken things for granted]," Ross said. "I think it's important to have gratitude and awareness of of all of those people that we love, while we still have them."

"And tell people!" Ross added. 

"The Luckiest" runs through July 28. To buy tickets, click here

Contact Us