She wrote more than 40 stage works and directed her own works as well … We weren’t like, “Here’s an outline, this is the story, this is going to be great for the film.” It was like, “We’re following Irene’s lead.” So that was a very different way of constructing something. Maria Irene Fornés (1930-2018) was born in Havana, Cuba, and first came to New York City in 1945. ABINGDON SQUARE de FORNES,MARIA IRENE y una gran selección de libros, arte y artículos de colección disponible en Iberlibro.com. This work brings together issues of politics, gender, and sexuality to show how forms of national and domestic violence often exist in direct relationship to one another. I didn’t think she was going to be listed in the phone book, and she was. Her plays are not written to please. I just said, “Well, we should take this grant and try to take her home.” She kept talking about Cuba and how much she missed Cuba. She rarely speaks anymore but is receptive to touch and music and friendly faces. Compra Fefu and Her Friends. Either […] But it sounds like you just had a totally different way of working. But in a very particular way, because you’re only learning what she’s choosing to tell you, because we’re not inserting anything extra in. Read: 7 THINGS YOU NEVER NEW ABOUT MARÍA IRENE FORNES. So she stopped, started producing other plays, then came back to this play, Fefu, and then it was just like she was pulling scenes out of bags and found this great space and started writing for the space. On Adam Guettel, Silence, and the Fear of Nothingness, The Once and Future Leigh Silverman: a western. When I was reading about Irene, one of the things that I found is that a lot of people think that she didn’t get the credit that she deserved in terms of her contribution to the downtown theatre scene. But that intimacy doesn’t change, because there’s enough of me alone with Irene and the camera in Cuba and then onto Miami and Seattle. You see me because we have a cinematographer, someone else taking the film. María Irene Fornés Item Preview 1 Maria Irene Fornes 01.pdf. [In 1999] I called Irene up, completely intimidated by her. I didn’t think she was going to be listed in the phone book, and she was. And I give everything I have to a camera.” So I called Morgan back and I was like, “Oh my God, this is an amazing way to keep creating.”, It was also at a time where I was a little lost in my career. 2 Maria Irene Fornes 02.pdf. When you stopped being there just as a friend and started being there as a professional? Quotes []. She died on October 30, 2018 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. But her influence has remained alive through her work and the young people who frequently read it in college. She has her good days and her bad days, like the rest of us, and we still have our visits, which involve lots of Cuban music and hand holding and reciting parts of the film to her. María Irene Fornés, a Cuban-born American playwright whose spare, poetic and emotionally forceful works were hallmarks of experimental theater for four decades, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. It was such a collaboration that I didn’t want to be in it at first. Irene, it took her several years to write Fefu and Her Friends. I changed so much. It’s a photo of her when she was probably in her 50s, and looking very formidable and a little scary. María Irene Fornés (1930-2018) was a self-identified queer Cuban-American playwright and director and leading figure in the avant-garde “off-off-Broadway” theater scene.1 Fornés wrote over forty original plays – many of which she also directed – and was the recipient of nine Off-Broadway Theater (Obie) Awards and a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. [At the beginning] I see this very young, enchanted, adventurous, lost young woman, and by the end of finishing the film, I see that I’ve become the artist that I wanted to be when I started. I was always there as a friend. After college, I started writing about theatre, and ended up pitching a piece on the relationship between playwrights and critics, and playwrights retaliating against critics. We met on the corner of Waverly and 6th, and she looked completely different. Born in Cuba May 14, 1930, Fornés came to New York City in 1945 at the age of 15. There have been numerous books and underground articles, Obies and accolades, paying homage to Irene’s work, from Fefu and Her Friends to Abingdon Square . She never played by the rules—in fact, she said she didn’t even know they existed. I feel like that’s a really strong parallel between how Irene worked as a writer, and how you learned from her, and then also honored her in the film. Irene won’t go to a doctor, but we’ve been trying to get the community to rally around her.” I started showing up with food and just coming on my lunch breaks and hanging out. So this was the image that I had going in to meet her. It’s the first documentary about Fornés, a playwright who was instrumental in forming Off-Off-Broadway theatre and America’s avant-garde theatre movement. When you write a play you are in such an intimate relationship with it. And also in the edit, of maintaining her dignity, that was very clear: when she stops responding to the camera, that we were going to be done. The Cuban playwright and director, now 72 years old, has been called the greatest and the least acknowledged female playwright of our time. I don’t think I could’ve done it in my 20s or as we were making the film, because I didn’t see it. Whatever kind of project you want to do, just do it.” So I borrowed a better camera, and I would just show up with a camera at her house. I probably would’ve gone into writing about theatre anyway, but reading such a rich play definitely led to it. I mentioned my name and Irene said something and I said, “You don’t even know who I am.” And she goes, “I may not know who you are, but I know what you are.” She was like, “You’re an artist.” And we were joking around, but she saw something in me at the time that I didn’t see in myself. [citation needed] Her experimental techniques include modern form, feminist perspectives, realism and allegorical elements. At what point did it actually turn into a film that you knew you were going to release to the public, or with that goal in mind? And then there’s this film, which introduces the world to Irene as a remarkable personality and visionary artist, which we’re hoping will lead to more people reading and producing her plays and making the Fornés name more present in the public eye. [citation needed] She viewed the theater as a place in which to stage experience so that the spectator can “receive” that experience and achieve “identification.”[4], The Minimalist Theme — Tumblr themes by Pixel Union | Powered by Tumblr. Irene currently lives at Amsterdam Nursing Home at 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. People say she is a playwright’s playwright, as most dramatists today know—and revere—her work, and many have actually taken her legendary workshops. That is the argument of this important new study, the first to assess Fornes's complete body of work. How did you go from that to deciding to make the film? Betsy Wolfe is Absolutely Fine. Her first play, Tango Palace, was produced in 1963.She wrote more than three dozen works for the stage. What should I do? It wasn’t like we were making a movie, it was just like we were hanging out with a camera. A revolutionary figure in the off-Broadway movement of the late twentieth century, Fornes’s creativity and vivacity was not stopped by her later fight with dementia. In 1965, she won her first Distinguished Plays Obie Award forPromenade and The Successful Life of 3. She wasn’t being asked to teach, and she didn’t know why. Michelle Memran is the documentarian behind The Rest I Make Up (2018), a touchingly candid portrait of Cuban-American playwright and director Maria Irene Fornes. In the middle of it, I spent a semester at NYU film school. Once I followed Irene’s lead, I was able to see that it didn’t matter that it was taking this long, and it didn’t matter that we didn’t actually know where we were going, but that I had trust that we would get there, somewhere, even if that might not be where we thought we were going to end up. It talked about feminist perspectives. The film is so her because of the logic and the methodology that she used in her writing life. Several months after we began filming, someone found out about the film and wanted to help us. María Irene Fornés (May 14, 1930 – October 30, 2018) was a Cuban-American avant garde playwright and director, who was a leading figure of the off-off-Broadway movement in the 1960s. And she picked up the phone, and she was like, “Oh sure, I’ll meet you for an interview.” So basically my interest in her was because of The Conduct of … Oh, definitely. What is going on, am I ever going to finish the film?”. Always an iconoclast, each of Fornés's plays was its own world, all vastly different from each other. What were your impressions of her on the first meeting? ABINGDON SQUARE de FORNES,MARIA IRENE et d'autres livres, articles d'art et de collection similaires disponibles sur AbeBooks.fr. And Other Concerns. It was like how she would construct one of her plays, which is different. The woman who’s traveled the world and is incredibly industrious, always working, all of a sudden has all this time.”. Michelle: And that’s why it’s a film by me and Irene. This is a real opportunity to have her in the room with you, and to learn about her life. And do you know if this is true and who’s taking care of her,” and all this stuff. And so to figure out how and where and when to place me in the story was the biggest challenge. He basically worked for nothing—he loved Irene and wanted to be a part of it. Unless we were following where Irene was taking us, we went astray. And that’s what we did. This isn’t a biopic. ArtSavant - Maria Irene Fornés, interviewed by Lynn Trenning. People born under the Taurus zodiac sign are often incredibly dedicated, reliable and dependable. It was unlike any other play I’ve ever read, and it just blew me away. Interview: Maria Irene Fornes Maria Irene Fornes, Bonnie Marranca. A 40th-anniversary edition of Fefu and Her Friends was just published by PAJ and American Theatre has done a number of pieces on Irene in the past two years. At the time, it was very clear that she was in decline in New York, and her family from Miami and Cuba were very active in calling, sending letters—her brother from Cuba was writing letters, probably like one a week that she would get. I basically showed the footage on a little camcorder of Irene and they were like, “Oh my God, that’s so Irene, that’s so Irene.” So we got this grant, and we were trying to decide what to do with it. There’s that Joan Didion documentary that came out a few months ago that her nephew made, but the film keeps more of a distance and has to navigate those boundaries. Her plays are passed on by her students to their students, and there’s been a recent stream of productions and a revived interest in her work. The whole process when we were filming, Irene was in the discovery mode. Listen to an interview with Director Michelle Memran and Rachel Shelley from Radio DIVA. We were just shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting. remove-circle Share or Embed This Item. She was so delighted to meet me. Performing Arts Journal, January 1978, JSTOR; DOI: 10.2307/3245375 And they had to go back to a completely associative way of continuing to follow Irene’s thoughts. Maria Irene Fornes is the most influential female American dramatist of the 20th century. The quality of the film doesn’t change, our intimacy doesn’t change throughout the whole thing even though I enter [the film]. We got a grant. https://www.vogue.com/article/maria-irene-fornes-playwright-dead-88 There’s so much in that five minutes that we overlook, but that she didn’t. I had never actually used it. I think there was a real awareness, while we were making the film, of Irene actively participating and knowing that we’re making a film. So that’s how it started. I had sit-down interviews with other people and interviews that ended up in the film with her colleagues or other playwrights and directors. The Conduct of Life (1985) is one of Maria Irene Fornes’s most critically acclaimed plays. January 18, 2001 An interview with Maria Irene Fornés. Why do you think that was? It really has a lot to do with memory and creativity and relationship. Each of the four productions I’ve seen—including a dreadfully misconceived version directed by David Esbjornson in the 1999 Fornes season at Signature Theater—were flawed in basic ways. I didn’t really know what my career was. [After the interview Michelle sent the following about Irene’s condition today] So that’s when we were making something other than just the camera on the floor and the mic on her back and me not knowing what I’m doing. Memran captured it all with joy, […] If you want to know about Irene Fornés, there’s so little that’s out there, and things that are really erroneous, like the Wikipedia page. I’m there to help you see Irene more clearly, and to help you see that relationships are possible to be formed during the onset of this illness, where many people think that if you can’t form new memories, then you can’t form new relationships. Having a play directed by someone else is like going to a religious school when you’re a child, you listen and obey… (born May 14, 1930) is a Cuban-American avant garde playwright and director who is associated with the establishment of the Off-Off-Broadway movement in the 1960s. Her family moved to the United States in 1945, and she became a painter before beginning to write plays in the early 1960s. And then, one day I was in her apartment. She was not writing for a regional theatre world, and a season planned around a subscriber base could make artistic directors hesitant to produce her work, which can be violent, sexual, farcical—and is always fearless. Preview: November 14 @ 7:30pm PST Showings: Live: November 19, 20, 21 @ 7:30pm PST Recorded: November 23, 24, 25 @ 5:30 PST Method of Presentation and Ticketing. But we did a bunch of trailers and things where I wasn’t, but then we realized that the heart of the story is this relationship between a mentor and a student, in many ways, because I was also thinking that I wanted to write plays. Seriously. Product was never a thing we had in mind ever, which is probably why it took so long for us to actually make it. María Irene Fornés Interview (born May 14, 1930) is a Cuban-American avant garde playwright and director who is associated with the establishment of the Off-Off-Broadway movement in the 1960s. I got an assistant who had been to Cuba before several times. Irene wasn’t involved in the editing process, but one thing you talk about discovering is anytime you and Melissa Neidich, who’s the editor, tried to impose something like, “Oh, this’ll be great for the structure of the film,” it never worked. [citation needed] The spectator’s identification and empathy with characters is seen as the core of Fornes’ theatrical philosophy. Then one day, we went to Brighton Beach, and I had this old High 8 camera that my dad had gotten me. 3 Maria Irene Fornes 03.pdf. And then I started interviewing people, not necessarily as a way for the film, but more so as a way to say, “Hey, this is what’s happening with Irene, do you want to be involved with the community that’s helping to take care of her?”. Also it was about global and the individual [citation needed] Her writing style employs avant-garde techniques developed in the early years of the Off-off-Broadway movement. Abstract. READ ABOUT FORNES AND THE MAKING OF THE FILM. I think that what I learned throughout the whole process was that you need to trust in the accidents, and trust that the story will get told if it needs to get told. That the film was over. Since it started more as a way of doing something for her and for other people to talk about her without necessarily the end goal being a film, once that changed, did you start to think about some of the footage differently? SCREEN FILM . I never became a professional so it was never an issue. I think it can function as a master class. Many of her plays are not immediately accessible on the first read. EMBED. Performance Dates. Or just go through Washington Square Park together. Don't panic; you should have time to contest the deletion (although please review deletion guidelines before doing so). A while later, the article came out—it took me a while, I interviewed like 50 playwrights—but whenever I was in the West Village, I would just call her up and we would go out for lunch, or we’d go to thrift stores, or we’d go to flea markets. Why is Hilton Als So Scared of Leigh Silverman? WATCH TRAILER. I realize that now, but at the time I was like, “Why can’t we finish this film? One such young person was the director of The Rest I Make Up, Michelle Memran. SPEDIZIONE GRATUITA su ordini idonei 7 Women of Theatre History You Should Know: Part Five, An Interview with Split Britches: Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, 7 Women of Theatre History You Should Know: Part Four. And I learned to let go a lot. And the hope is that Irene stays with you when you leave the theatre. That there was a different understanding of the creative process? It’s a film about this woman who happens to have dementia, but it’s a side note. Irene is just so compelling to watch as a character. After a meeting in the late 90s when Michelle was in her 20s, a friendship between the two began that led them to start making the film, which uses footage over their more than a decade working together. Whenever I’d call, she’d be there. Maria Irene Fornes’s 1983 play Mud, widely considered a contemporary classic, is rarely produced at full strength. I noticed there was mold in the fridge, and there were signs of neglect. Please RSVP via this Google Form. Maria “call me Irene” Fornes. Above all things, they value their sense of security and stability. Fornés’ plays address social and personal issues, while removing the playwright from the work itself. In the New York sections, you only see Irene, because I’m behind the camera. TRAILER . She started with scraps and scenes, and then stopped working on it for like seven years so she could produce. Fornes themes focused on poverty and feminism. One of the major points of the film is that it introduces people to her work and to her as a person, and that it can be used as a tool and as a resource for people studying her work and also performing her plays. In college, I was taking a playwriting class—I was a journalism major—and we read one of her plays, The Conduct of Life. So I called up her agent, Morgan Jenness, and I said, “I’m a friend of Irene’s and I’m concerned that she might have some form of dementia or something going on with her. There’s a moment that is on the cutting room floor. Maria Irene Fornes 14 The first draft of Mud was created and performed at the 6th Padua Hills Festival, Claremont, California, in July, 1983. What do you hope this film does for her legacy and what do you hope audiences get out of it? And then, over the years, things have happened in Irene’s life, and things have happened in my life, and we’re working with an amazing editor who found these great ways to insert me into the narrative. She was just like, “I was just happy to see my name in the paper.” But a friendship was formed that day when we met. "Fufu and her Friends was one of the most popular plays. Nobody makes documentaries like we made this documentary. It was so much fun to be with her. We were with another playwright, and we were on the beach, and the second we turned it on, Irene just lit up in a way that it was like she was performing the monologue of her life. On February 16th, The Rest I Make Up, a documentary about the playwright María Irene Fornés will have its premiere at the Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight Festival. It’s the photo that’s used of her on everything. The one who wants me always. In my experience, what usually happens is one of two things. She loved going to thrift stores and flea markets. María Irene Fornés Having a play directed by someone else is like going to a religious school when you’re a child, you listen and obey. It stays with you. And so we both were at a crossroads. She had the gray bob and the red glasses and was entirely open. Presented through Zoom, Letters from Cuba will be a live, virtual performance. An image used in this article, File:Maria Irene Fornes.jpg, has been nominated for speedy deletion for the following reason: All Wikipedia files with unknown copyright status. The way that it manifests in Irene is this complete ability to be in the present moment. She’s credited as it being a film by her, as well. And she had all this time for me. Fornes themes focused on poverty and feminism. I’m a secondary character. Maria Irene Fornes zodiac sign is a Taurus. I don’t think I ever had a formal, sit-down interview with Irene. She was like, “We’re just going to keep going until you feel like you’re ready.” And it ended up that I kept going for a really long time. Do you feel that the way that she worked also affected the process in the sense of thinking of life as something you use for the creative process, or even in terms of the boundaries of who owns the story? I don’t have any definitive answer but I certainly have my theories. And in the filming process, Michelle often talks about how she follows Irene’s lead, and follows where her memories go, and where her interest goes, and where her delight takes them. Visitors are always welcome and encouraged, and I’m happy to meet anyone there who’d like to spend some time with “La Maestra.”, Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight Festival, The Women of EST’s Spring Season: Chiara Atik, Sylvia Khoury, and Abby Rosebrock, Bernadette Peters: Young and Cute, Forever and Never, Women to Watch 2017: Women Behind the Scenes, 7 Women of Theatre History You Should Know, Female Lighting Designers: Past, Present, and Future. Letters from Cuba by María Irene Fornés directed by Juliana Kleist-Méndez/MFA 3 Director. The only impression I had of her up until that point was a photo. And she picked up the phone, and she was like, “Oh sure, I’ll meet you for an interview.” So basically my interest in her was because of The Conduct of Life and reading that play in college. Do you feel like the fact that she was a writer was partly what allowed you to work that way? Fefu and Her Friends, written and directed in 1977 by Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornés, is set over the course of one day at Fefu’s New England home, where she …