Mara Elissa Palma: Meet the Playwright

In anticipation of the fourth episode, coming out on Monday, October 2, let's get to know the playwright of Octavia and Kleopatra, Mara Elissa Palma

Mara Elissa Palma (she/her) is a first-generation Filipina-American artist. Her artistic mission statement is to inspire young women of color, especially those of Asian descent, and immigrants to go from content consumers to content creators. Mara found power and agency in taking control of her personal narrative through developing a solo performance piece about her family's immigration story through the INTIMAN Emerging Artist Program in Seattle, WA under the leadership of Sara Porkalob and Dedra Woods. 

Mara was chosen as a Company One Theatre PlayLab Unit Playwright in 2016 in Boston, MA under the direction of Ilana Brownstein. The piece she debuts in Boston Podcast Players, OCTAVIA AND KLEOPATRA, was developed in C1 PlayLab. It is dedicated to all the strong women in her life, and all the strong women history erased.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College in Theatre Studies and Political Science. These interests came together when she co-produced, ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS: A CABARET FUNDRAISER, with Helena Berbano. Part performance by majority women and POC artists, and part panel with audience discussion, the evening culminated in raising $2,100 to support political initiatives

Meaningful writing credits include involvement in Boston's 1-Minute Play Festival: NASTY WOMEN STRIKE BACK, and in the writing team for LIMINUS, an pervasive performance that used mobile technology to lead audiences on adventure around Boston. Favorite acting credits include "Yellow Face" (Leah Anne Cho, et al.; Office of War Information), "House of Blue Leaves" (Corrinna Stroller; Wellesley Repertory Theatre), "The Winter's Tale" (Camillo; Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company), "Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?" ensemble adaptation (Guy #2; Artists' Theater of Boston), and "Julius Caesar" (Brutus; Wellesley College Shakespeare Society).

For more information, check out Mara's website:
Photograph by Sonia Xu @poweredbyxu and