( 1969- )
Josefina López was born in Cerritos in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. At the age of six, she moved with her parents and seven brothers and sisters to Los Angeles in search of a better life. Although her parents had green cards, the young Josefina lived in fear of being sent back to Mexico since she did not have the appropriate papers. In order to work, the undocumented teenager had to lie about having a social security number. After she graduated from the Los Angeles High School for the Arts, López studied at New York University and the University of California-San Diego before she completed her BA in film and screenwriting at Columbia College in Chicago in 1993.
López's undefined and ambiguous residency status left her feeling excluded from American society, but she was inspired to write about her experiences after seeing a production of Luis Valdez I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges. Simply Maria or the American Dream was written when López was seventeen years old. She has worked with the Los Angeles Theatre Center's Young Playwrights Lab and trained under Maria Irene Fornes at INTAR's Hispanic Playwrights Workshop. She continues to write plays and is under contract with Warner Brothers to adapt her first play to the screen.
Her best-known work, Real Women Have Curves, has had numerous productions at theatres all over the United States. She has worked as a playwright with several theatres, including San Diego's Playwrights Project, El Teatro Campesino, and El Teatro de al Esperanza; Chicago's Victory Gardens; and the Seattle Group Theatre; and she has worked as a segment producer for the performing artists, Culture Clash.
Josefina López, who continues to live and work in Los Angeles, was awarded a playwriting fellowship by the Mark Taper Forum for 1995-1996.