The “Sheriff’s Wife” is back: Eliana Lopez, wife of former San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, is returning her play What is the Scandal as part of a new Spanish language film and theater project with her two siblings, Alfonso Lopez and Carolina Agudelo Lopez. The family trio, having formed a company called 3Lopez Productions, intends to bring theatrical and cinematic material to immigrant communities that addresses sometimes uncomfortable issues in an approachable way.
“What we want is to reflect and have a dialogue about the problems that our community are facing and the stereotypes the biases that we have to deal with,” Eliana Lopez said. “I think these conversations are happening in universities and not so often in the community.”
Lopez and her siblings have rewritten the play she originally released as a commentary on her perspective of the scandal that enveloped her family after Mirkarimi was accused of abusing her following a fight between the couple. Lopez maintains she was never the victim of abuse and instead was ignored by a political system and media that would rather have a scandal than listen to her perspective, which she lays out in detail in the one-woman play.
The actress and playwright said she has received plenty of positive feedback from people who attended her play. One of them, she said, was a retired law enforcement adviser.
“He told me, ‘you know, I’ve been working all my life training deputies and police officers to deal with domestic violence. But this is the first time I see the other side, the family side’,” Lopez said. “And that is what is really telling, that it’s a voice that we are missing in the conversation.”
Not content with talking only about domestic violence, immigration and motherhood, the Lopez family is arranging also to show a film that tells the story of a gay man and his straight son, and to produce a Spanish language version of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler’s collection of feminist stories. Both topics can be touchy – last year, a mural on 24th Street depicting a gay couple, a lesbian couple, and a transgender man was repeatedly vandalized and eventually set on fire.
Lopez hopes the film, My Straight Son (Azul y no tan rosa), will be well received nonetheless.
“It’s a beautiful story, it’s a queer story, which was very important in Venezuela because still we have a society where the macho culture is still very strong,” Lopez said.
The individual topics of the productions, however, are just part of the bigger picture: The Lopez siblings are hoping to create a rich program of material that busts stereotypes and explores challenges faced by all immigrants.
The new series begins with a screening of My Straight Son (Azul y no tan rosa) at the Victoria Theatre on February 6 at 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets and details available here, and additional details for 3Lopez productions can be found here.