A Utah playwright is about to achieve a rare feat. Here’s how you can watch.

Playing with language and employing dry wit are the common threads in Melissa Leilani Larson’s plays.

One play puts a spin on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Another is a version of a much-adapted Jane Austen classic. A third is a drawing-room comedy set in the Victorian era.

The common thread is that they’re all written by Utah playwright Melissa Leilani Larson — and all three will be produced on Utah stages in the next few months.

All three — “Gin Mummy,” “Bitter Lemon” and “Pride and Prejudice” — are period works that are a far cry from her 2022 work “Mestiza, or Mixed,” a modern story inspired by her own upbringing to a Filipina mother and a white father.

What the three plays have in common, Larson said, is something the playwright says is evident in all her work: Playing with language.

“I still feel like I am able to do this thing with language, with these characters who sound a particular way,” Larson said. “They use words and phrases that I like to use across all of my plays. If I tried to make it sound like Shakespeare, the play would not be done.”

Also, she said, “There’s a very dry wit in all three of them. There are very similar ways that jokes happen, in all three shows, that is very particular to me.”

The scheduling of the three plays, Larson said, is “a very lucky coincidence,” though she added that she also has productions happening out of state.

“Theater takes a really long time to plan, and a lot of stuff [has] to be in place pretty far in advance,” she said.

Victorian humor, and a mummy

“Gin Mummy” — which is scheduled to debut Friday and run through March 9 by Utah Valley University Theatre at the Noorda Center’s Student Theatre in Orem — is described as a drawing-room comedy about a rich young woman in Victorian England who “comes to terms with what she wants and what her family expects on the night of her engagement party.” Oh, and there’s a mummy involved.

The play, she said, is similar to “Mestiza, or Mixed” not in setting but in the playwright’s effort to be vulnerable.

“Gin Mummy’s” origins, Larson said, go back to grad school, when she took a special topics class in comedy — where she wrote one of the scenes of the play.

“It was years and years and years before I let myself believe that I could be funny,” she said. “But I also didn’t know what to do with it after that, and I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t really think I could achieve the ambition that I had for myself with the play.”

Larson sat on the play for years, she said, but did some readings during the COVID-19 pandemic over Zoom with actor friends from across the country. “They were, like, ‘We want the mummy play,’” she said. She figured out what to do with the play, she said, and forced herself to get it written.

“I don’t think I could have done it 10 years ago, the way that I can do it now, because I am a better writer and I’m more experienced,” Larson said.

Rethinking Lady MacDuff

“Bitter Lemon” — which Plan-B Theatre is producing, April 11-28, at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center’s Studio Theatre — has its own interesting origin story.

It started when one of Larson’s friends, Jordan Long, gave her an assignment at the Creekside Theatre Fest in Cedar Hills in 2019. The task: Write a play for two actors, with no rehearsals or directing.

“We hand them the script in a sealed envelope, so it’s basically a reading but the actors are discovering the characters and the story along with the audience,” Larson said.

The main production at Creekside that summer was “Macbeth,” so Larson decided to write a companion piece — one that would fulfill her desire to give more of a stage presence to Lady Macduff, whom Shakespeare introduces and has murdered all in a single scene in Act IV.

The Plan-B production is labeled as a “(sort of) premiere,” given the play’s history at Creekside. This time, however, there are rehearsals, and the actors are more aware of their characters’ fates, Larson said.

“Bitter Lemon” also fits, Larson said, with Plan-B’s recent trend of riffing on classics. (This week, the company is completing a run of “Balthazar,” playwright Debora Threedy’s riff on “The Merchant of Venice.”) Larson, in an essay on Plan-B’s website, noted that some might call “Bitter Lemon” an example of fan fiction, but she instead calls it “enemy fiction.”

In the essay, Larson wrote that she’s never been fond of “Macbeth” or its title character, the Scottish military general who murders his way to the throne. Larson questioned why the play is labeled one of Shakespeare’s tragedies if the audience is rooting for Macbeth to get his comeuppance. The true “tragedy” of “Macbeth,” she wrote, is what happens to Lady Macduff.

“Bitter Lemon,” she said, is “not necessarily in my comfort zone,” Larson said. But, the beauty of the play, she said, is that it “grows and changes within the room.”

Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy

Larson said her adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” — set to be performed at the Grand Theatre at Salt Lake Community College from May 16 to June 8 — is faithful to Austen’s 1813 book, but she has added elements to make it a more “complete theatrical experience.”

“Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy it. It sounds and feels like a Regency romance,” Larson said.

In recounting the romantic exploits of the five Bennet sisters — usually focusing on the oldest, Elizabeth, and her sternly negative opinions of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy — Larson said, “there are some things about it that I tried very hard to do.”

Larson continued: “Like, I want all of the sisters — and everybody — in the story to have an arc, a story and a goal. It’s not just about Elizabeth and Darcy. It’s also about Jane and Bingley.”

In adapting Austen’s work, “I don’t necessarily want the audience to know what is Jane and what is me, so I try really hard to make the play feel very whole and complete,” she said.

Larson first staged this adaptation in 2014, at Brigham Young University. In the 10 years since, she said, it’s grown and been polished, has been published by a licensor and been staged elsewhere in the United States — including at the Hale Center Theatre Orem.

The production at The Grand — quite a bit larger than the intimate Orem theater — will be the first time a Salt Lake City audience will watch this Austen adaptation. That’s something Larson said she’s excited to see.

In fact, Larson said, she’s excited to see the audience’s reactions to all three plays when they roll out.

“There are people who are going to like ‘Bitter Lemon’ who might not necessarily be super-excited to go to ‘Pride and Prejudice,’” Larson said. “Sometimes when you write a story, you want that story, that play to find the right audience.”

It still feels surreal, she said, to be sharing her plays with an audience. She said she sometimes asks herself: “Do I actually have a career as a playwright? Is that actually happening after years of trying?”

She added, “it kind of feels like maybe it is, and that’s cool.”