As we grow closer to opening Miss You Like Hell, and on the heels of our interview with composer Erin McKeown, we’re thrilled to bring you a series of interviews with cast and production team of this fantastic show. Today, we’re sitting down with Violeta Ruiz-Lopez, who plays Olivia. Violeta Ruiz-Lopez shared with us that she is excited to be working with Patio Playhouse again this year to tell such a special story. She recently graduated from the University of California, Irvine with her Bachelors in Arts in Drama. Some of her past roles are Vanessa (In The Heights), Extraordinary Girl (American Idiot), Paulette (Legally Blonde) & Rose Alvarez (Bye Bye Birdie). She dedicates this performance to her loving family and friends for always showing her endless support and encouragement to follow her dreams and achieve her goals. Take a peek into our interview with Violeta below… and then hop over and grab your tickets to Miss You Like Hell!
What drew you to this particular production?
Knowing how real this story is, and remembering Beatriz’ life as an undocumented immigrant and experiences that brings is something a lot of people go through every day in their lives.
How is the character like you? How is she different?
Olivia is surprisingly pretty similar to me, it’s kinda scary. We both don’t really care about how people perceive us, whether it’s through our physical appearance or mannerisms. She is definitely a major book nerd like I was around her age, reading to explore new worlds and escape reality. I also relate to her love for dark humor and dark and comfy sense of style. We’re different in the way that I grew up in a loving home with married parents, and I myself am a Mexican immigrant born in Tijuana. I know and realize my privilege as a family of documented immigrants and acknowledge that my life growing up didn’t come with the same challenges that Olivia went through.
What has been the biggest challenge in taking on this role?
The biggest challenge is definitely tapping into a 16 year-old’s mindset again, thinking that the world revolves around my personal problems and that if something goes wrong it equals the end of times.
What are you most hoping that the audience takes away from this production?
I’m hoping people will remember to appreciate the time they have now with their loved ones, as we never know if and when we’ll get to see them again. I also hope this story reminds people to be more empathetic towards immigrants, documented or undocumented, as we can’t even imagine some of the struggles they go through on a daily basis to provide better lives for their families.
Is there anything else you’d like to share that hasn’t been asked above?
I just want to thank my kind director Liz, and the rest of the productive & creative team from Patio Playhouse for considering me to share this fun yet very real story with everyone. I’ve missed theater and performing dearly for such a long time now, it feels so good to be back on stage again.
Thank you so much for your lovely interview, Violeta, and we can’t wait to see you on stage in Miss You Like Hell, opening July 30 in Escondido, CA!