Celebrando Fornés at Riverside

We invite you to CELEBRANDO FORNÉS

Join the Fornés Institute in CELEBRATING the life and legacy of playwright, director, and mentor, María Irene Fornés (1930-2018). 


María, “just call me Irene,” Fornés was an extremely prolific Cuban playwright, director, mentor, and leader in the off-off Broadway theatre movement. She has been called the greatest and the least acknowledged female playwright of our time.   In addition to writing more than 40 plays, directing the vast majority of her original productions, and winning nine Obie Awards (among many other honors), Fornés was a foundational teacher of playwriting, particularly for the Latinx community. She was the director of INTAR’s Hispanic Playwrights in Residence Lab for 14 years, and taught such artists as Nilo Cruz, Lisa Loomer, Migdalia Cruz, Josefina Lopez, Eduardo Machado, and many many others. Her students have won Obie Awards, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Pulitzer Prize. 

Yet, at the time of her death in 2018, her work did not share the recognition of her contemporaries.  


In 2021, the Fornés Institute launched: The Decade of Fornés: Celebrando Fornés/Celebrating Fornés. 

They put out a call to Theatres, Colleges, and Universities in the United States to program celebrations of María Irene Fornés’ life and work. Celebrations can take the form of (in person or virtual) productions, workshops, readings, panels, and/or adding her work to the curriculum.   In 2030, the hundred year anniversary of her birth, we hope to have introduced many more audiences to her work.     

Events will be shared on their webpage and social media accounts (Instagram & Facebook) creating a living archive of this national celebration. 

In this way, the Institute is striving to get Fornés work into more classrooms, onto more stages, and into more discussions. 


To learn more about the Fornés Institute,please visit us at: https://www.fornesinstitute.com/ and join us on Instagram & Facebook

To join the Decade of Fornés: Celebrando Fornés/Celebrating Fornés, please contact: fornesinstitute@gmail.com 

To learn more or donate to The Latinx Theatre Commons visit: https://howlround.com/ltc

INTAR Lab Members 1991: Lorenzo Mans, Cardidad Svich, Leo Garcia, Oscar Colon, María Irene Fornés, Migdalia Cruz, Nilo Cruz, Lorraine Llamas

“She’s the most original of us all. In the work of every American playwright at the end of the 20th century, there are only two stages: before she has read María Irene Fornés and after.”

Paula Vogel (author, How I Learned to Drive, Indecent)