The Lover, by Harold Pinter

Starring Kamala Lopez and Joel Marshall
Directed by Martha Demson

This play, "The Lover," by Harold Pinter was performed as a fundraiser for Equal Means Equal and Heroica Foundation, at the Rita House in Los Angeles, in the month of August 2018.

This production is available to be performed (if the rights and actors are available) in other venues as scheduling and financing permits. Use the contact page on this site for more information.

Poster by Tom Martin

Husband and wife playing husband and wife.

"My wife Kamala and I both enjoy the plays of Harold Pinter and came up with the idea of performing this play together. We knew that we were in for a wild ride and elicited the help of Kamala's college roommate and longtime theater director Martha Demson. 

Shortly thereafter Nazar Grabar joined the cast as John, the milkman.

We wanted to do the play as a fundraiser for our political passion, the ratifying of the Equal Rights Amendment in the American Constitution. The organization Equal Means Equal is committed to educating people about the blatant omission of women from the US Constitution. Something that is unbelievable, yet true.

Through fortunate events we were able to perform this play in this perfect venue, with the help of Peter Carlstedt (sound), Dan Reed (lighting), Paola Santos (hair and makeup), Tom Martin (graphic design), Rebecca Galvez (front of house), and other talented committed individuals.

We were so graciously hosted by Rita House owners Scott Strumwasser and Tash Rahbar. 

The play explores gender relationships in a fun, engaging and sometimes mind-bending way."

- Joel Marshall


Sarah and Richard

From the program:


The year was 1963. Betty Freidan’s The Feminine Mystique, published early in the year, sparked the second wave of the modern American feminist movement, challenging the very construct of gender roles for women in society. Until then the widely shared belief in the 1950s was that “fulfillment” as a woman had only one definition for American women after 1949—the housewife-mother.” 

The Set

The Set

This belief was not just a result of the men returning home after WWII, but also based on the patriarchal ideology of “separate spheres,” claims that women should avoid the public sphere – the domain of politics, paid work, commerce and law. 

Women’s “proper sphere,” according to the thought of the time, was the realm of domestic life, focused on childcare, housekeeping, and religion. This was the precise moment in American history when the notion of biologically determined gender roles came into direct conflict with the growing self-determined liberated woman’s movement. The battle lines were now drawn in what was to become a cultural tsunami.

Into this wild explosive year arrived Harold Pinter’s The Lover. Exploring, deconstructing and upending longstanding laws and traditions about who we are as “husbands” and “wives” in a slim but highly charged deep dive into the psychology of a marriage. 


Pinter lays bare the deep-seated fears that women faced in losing these social constructs and clear parameters. The schism between Sarah the wife and Sarah the lover is vast. In 1963, the promise of sexual liberation and personal fulfillment was potentially a dangerous siren call for many women as taking a feminist position in a marriage carried the very real chance that the woman would be left unprotected and unable to survive economically on her own. And while it would seem that Richard has the upper hand, his very real struggles with his role prove no less existential.

Fifty-five years later, we find ourselves at a similar cultural turning point. We are experiencing a mass transformation, or perhaps even a Reformation, of gender identity. And while the fear of economic survival is somewhat mitigated by a 50% female workforce, the psychological anxiety generated by the tension between what women and men expect of themselves and what they desire is no less fraught today. While our presentation embraces the behavioral norms of the early 1960’s, the questions it surfaces take on additional resonances in this era of gender fluidity and uncertainty. Who are we as men and women in relation with one another in 2018? What are our responsibilities to ourselves and each other in terms of the roles we play within relationships?


The forces of the women’s movement in the sixties and seventies led to the first real push for the Equal Rights Amendment and Constitutional equality for all Americans. We achieved 35 of the 38 states needed between 1972 and 1982. But we fell three states short of full ERA ratification. Over three decades later, we again pick up the gauntlet and push to fight for basic respect as equal citizens under law. 

We hope that our presentation of The Lover and the discussions it inspires will prove valuable as we strive to navigate these times using art to bend the arc of the moral universe ever closer to justice. 

Thank you for your kind support,

Kamala Lopez, Joel Marshall & Martha Demson