Desert Theatreworks presents Real Women Have Curves, a celebration of real women with real bodies working together, at the Indio Performing Arts Center May 10 – May 19, 2019.

Show Description:

Should Ana leave home, go to college and experience life? Or stay home, get married, and keep working in her sister’s struggling garment factory? It may seem like an easy decision, but for 18-year-old Ana, every choice she makes this summer will change her life. At home, she is bound to a mother who wants her to become someone she’s not. But at school, she’s encouraged by a teacher who sees her potential, and adored by a boyfriend who loves her for who she is. Right now, Ana may be making clothes for less shapely women. But she’s about to discover that real women take chances, have flaws, embrace life, and above all, have curves!

Real Women Have Curves was written by Josefina López, set in a tiny sewing factory in East Los Angeles in September 1987. It is marked by the issues of gender politics and the Latina immigrant experience. The story is told from the point of view of Ana, the youngest employee at the factory. Ambitious and bright, Ana yearns to go to college, but does not have the money. The action follows the course of a week at the factory, as the women talk about their lives, loves and deepest desires while attempting to meet impossible production deadlines.


Josefina López is best known for authoring the play and co-authoring the film Real Women Have Curves. Although Real Women Have Curves is López’ most recognized work, it is only one of many literary and  artistic works she has created since her artistic career began at 17 years old. Born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, in 1969, López was 5 years old when she and her family immigrated to the United States and settled in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights. López has been an activist and has been doing public speaking for more than 20 years and has lectured on various topics including Chicano theatre, women’s history issues and minority representation in cinema at more than 200 universities including Yale, Dartmouth and USC. She has been the subject of countless TV and radio interviews in which she has passionately discussed immigration issues and other controversial subjects concerning women and minorities. López is the recipient of a number of other awards and accolades, including a formal recognition from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s 7th Annual “Women Making History” banquet in 1998; and a screenwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council in 2001.

In the playwright’s notes, López writes about how she grew up in Los Angeles herself. With the threat of La Migra looming over her childhood, she once saw a meter maid in a corner store and immediately attempted to “act white” out of fear that the official looking person could deport her. After the 1987 Simpson-Rodino Amnesty Act, López was able to become a legal resident. She reflects on the undocumented people she knew who were afraid to register themselves for fear that the act was a trick. “They, like me, couldn’t believe that after hiding and being persecuted for so long they were finally going to have the freedom to live and work in this country.” She recounts that before she went to college, she worked in a garment factory; those experiences inspired Real Women Have Curves.


“What makes this play so special is that it doesn’t preach about body image, the Latina experience, or what being Hispanic in Southern California is like in 2019.” Says Lance Phillips-Martinez, Artistic Director of Desert Theatreworks. “These topics are merely highlighted in a very funny coming-of-age comedy.” Lance Phillips-Martinez, Artistic Director

“It’s a joy working with these “Real Women”, we’ve just begun rehearsals and already they have an instant bond like they’re a tightly knit group of friends. I can’t wait to see the final results.” Rebecca Havely Director of Real Women Have Curves

“Through the play Real Women Have Curves at DTW, we have the opportunity to represent women of color in our community and showcase the amazing talents we have here. This play ties into immigration issues and gender politics, revealing the femininity and body positivity for these women. It is exciting to see DTW bring this show to the stage and cannot wait for you to come see it!” – Leslye Martinez Assistant Director/Cultural Advisor

PERFORMANCES: Indio Performing Arts Center at 45175 Fargo Street in Indio, CA 92201


Friday May 10 7:30PM

Saturday May 11 7:30PM

Sunday May 12 2:00PM

Friday May 17 7:30PM

Saturday May 18 7:30PM

Sunday May 19 2:00PM

RUNTIME: 120 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

BOX OFFICE: Online:  * Phone: (760)321-3087

In person: M-F 10am-6pm at the IPAC – Indio Performing Arts Center (45175 Fargo Street, Indio CA)

TICKETS: (Reserved Seating)

$28 General Admission

$20 (Teen, 13-18))

$16 (Children 12 & Under)

GROUP SALES – Contact or call 760-321-3087

Desert Theatreworks is a 501(c)3 Community based theatre company serving the Coachella Valley

For more information, please contact Desert Theatreworks at (760)980-1455 or email at