Mala Hierba


Mala Hierba

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  4f

"Mala Hierba is never less than absorbing. The dialogue zings at full speed, and the characters have an electric energy." - New York Post

Image: 2014 Second Stage Theater Production (Joan Marcus)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
  • Duration
    90 minutes
  • SubGenre
    Not Applicable
  • Audience
    Target Audience


Liliana has a sparkle few can deny and no one can resist. The trophy wife of a border magnate living in Texas, she’s seemingly impeccable. But beneath that polished exterior lies a fierce determination to survive at any cost. When Liliana’s true desires break the surface, she’ll have to decide between the value of obligation versus the price of freedom.

Mala Hierba premiered at the Second Stage Uptown in New York City in July 2014 under the direction of Jerry Ruiz.

LILIANA - 28ish years old. Wife of border magnate. Sports the prerequisite dyed blond hair that a proper upper class, border wife sports. She was born in Mexico to a proper family and she’s always decked out. Always dressed to the nines. Even when playing tennis, she's impeccable. And underneath all that bling and pomp is her youth. It's in there somewhere. All her life she's been an object of desire because she's got that thing that only a few people have- that sparkle. The kind of charm that can't be taught.
MARITZA - Same age as Liliana more or less. Mari is a visual artist based in Chicago, with South Texas roots. Some might call her a “boi” or a “stud” and she wouldn’t mind it. She has a few tattoos she loves, some she regrets. She's done the dread thing, but now is sporting something more hip. More gender neutral. Black used to be her favorite color but now she's not minding rocking the retro gear she grew up with. She's an artist and is well respected in her community, some might call her well-known. She loves fiercely and is fiercely loyal. This is the friend you want for life.
YUYA - Older than Liliana by at least 12 or 15 years, but perhaps older. Yuya raised Liliana and her siblings and had served that household until she imported herself to Liliana's new household after she married. She's usually smarted than anyone in the room, and she always knows what the heck's going on. She knows her place but hides her resentment well. It is what it is.
FABIOLA - The 25 year old only daughter of Alberto Cantu, Liliana's husband. Fabi lives in Houston. Has always had everything. If you asked her, she'd consider herself liberal and progressive but it all depends on your definition. She's been working on her degree for seven years, going on eight now and she's so over it. It's a requirement really. To get a big chunk of change from her Dad. Hey, they made a deal.
  • Time Period Contemporary
  • Setting

    Sharyland, Texas in The Rio Grande Valley

  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 90 minutes
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes



"Smartly entertaining [...] a funny and frightening play." - Variety, Read More 

"[A] compelling character study, which pits human yearnings against the power of culturally predetermined obligations." - TheatreMania, Read More 

"Mala Hierba is never less than absorbing. The dialogue zings at full speed, and the characters have an electric energy." - New York Post, Read More 

"Saracho writes swaggering, punchy dialogue [...] This one grows big and flowers." - Time Out New York, Read More 


  • Tanya Saracho discusses the location of Mala Hierba

  • Tanay Saracho on dark humor

  • Tanaya Saracho on the roles of women in Mala Hierba

  • Second Stage cast of Mala Hierba on Tanya Saracho's writing

  • Second Stage cast discusses the meaning of Mala Hierba

More videos +


  • Mala Hierba

    Image: 2014 Second Stage Theater Production (Joan Marcus)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


Available Formats:


Tanya Saracho

Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México. She is a playwright and television writer who's worked on How To Get Away With Murder and HBO's Looking, among other shows. Currently, she serves as the creator and showrunner of the series VIDA on Starz. She is also developing a tel ...

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