Monica is an actress and emerging playwright based in New York City. Her first play To Grandmother’s House, was born out of her real-life experience of showing up unannounced to her estranged grandmother’s living facility. To Grandmother’s House began as a one-act play that was selected for a public reading at the Inge Festival New Play Lab. As an actress Monica studied and performed in Los Angeles, Europe, Japan, and NYC before making her Broadway debut as the understudy to Laura Linney and Alicia Silverstone in Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies, following the world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse (where she understudied Anna Gunn and Alicia Silverstone). During both productions Monica had the good fortune to experience firsthand the development of a new play from a pulitzer-prize winning playwright. Not long after, however, Monica put her theatrical career on pause while she travelled to 50 countries and became an impresario for organizations focused on deepening in-person conversations between communities, before starting her own event series and popular podcast called The Happier Hour: Philosophy To Help Life Suck Less, with the aim of bridging the gap between academic philosophy and self-help. That project brought Monica full circle back to playwriting and acting as she believes great plays explore the “hows” for our philosophical “whys.”
Monica is currently developing her second play which is based on the life of Fanny Imlay, the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and step-sister to Mary Shelley. She is pursuing her M.A. in Creative Writing from Harvard University, Extension School.
To Grandmother’s House Synopsis:
To Grandmother’s House opens with the unexpected arrival of Ruby, a former actress turned amateur philosopher, who shows up to her estranged grandmother’s assisted living facility in search of answers about her family’s past. But the reunion is interrupted with another knock on the door, and Ruby soon discovers she is not the only granddaughter in town. As Ella, her skeptical step-cousin, challenges Ruby’s motives, the three women are forced to take responsibility for the choices that brought them to this moment and come to terms with their own regrets. Family ties unravel as suspicions are exposed, and with the help of Alice, the no-nonsense hospice caregiver, Ruby must reconcile that her journey for answers may leave her faced with more questions. With nods to familiar fairy tales (“Little Red Riding Hood,” “Cinderella,” and “Alice In Wonderland”), To Grandmother’s House explores what can happen when the pursuit of “happily ever after” leads to an existential crisis of identity. The entire action of the play takes place in the living room without scene changes or jumps in time. Four actors. (4F)