Mariposa and the Saint Performance and Discussion

Mariposa and the Saint: From Solitary Confinement, A Play Through Letters

Julia and Mariposa met in 2005 when Julia was a volunteer with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), and the two have stayed in contact ever since. In 2012 Mariposa was sentenced to fifteen months in isolated confinement. Years later, she is still there. Through letters with longtime friend and current collaborator, Julia Steele Allen, Mariposa brings her experience to the stage.

The entire writing process for the play took place through the letters between Julia and Mariposa. The inception of the play began with Julia sending Mariposa a series of writing prompts: “What is the story of your name?” “What is your first memory?” and Mariposa used these as a jumping off point, writing about whatever moved her. Julia transcribed Mariposa’s letters, including her letters from before she was in solitary confinement. In June 2013, Julia assembled the first script, using only Mariposa’s words. From that time on, the script has been evolving, with Mariposa sending feedback and new ideas, and Julia getting input from audiences and collaborators, sending it in for Mariposa to consider and respond to.

  • Written by Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca & Julia Steele Allen
  • Directed by Noelle Ghoussaini
  • Featuring Ray Huth & Julia Steele Allen
  • Assistant Director/Stage Manager Michi Osato
* Image Courtesy of Julia Steel Allen. Mariposa & the Saint:
From Solitary Confinement, A Play Through Letters press photo