Fefu and Her Friends at Halcyon Theatre (2016), photo © Tom McGrath
About The Fornés Institute
María Irene Fornés (1930-2018), a nine-time Obie award winning theatre artist, represents the genesis of Latinx playwriting. Born in Havana, Cuba, she first came to New York City in 1945 at the age of 15. Although La Vuida, a Spanish language play was her first written play, Tango Palace was her first to be produced in 1963. She wrote more than three dozen works for the stage. Among her most celebrated plays are Promenade, The Successful Life of 3, Fefu and Her Friends, The Danube, Mud, The Conduct of Life, And What of the Night? Was finally edited down to What of the Night? dropping the “And” in the final version, Abingdon Square, The Summer in Gossensass and Oscar and Bertha. In addition to her work as a playwright and director, Fornés founded and ran the seminal INTAR Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence Laboratory in New York City from 1981 to 1992, where she trained numerous award-winning and widely produced Latinx playwrights.
The Fornés Institute, an initiative of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC), aims to preserve and to amplify Maria Irene Fornés’s legacy as a teacher, mentor and artist, through workshops, convenings and advocacy. The initiative espouses future plans for a permanent home, which might include a library, archive, workshop and/or retreat space.