Thursday-Saturday, April 12-14, 2018
Princeton University
Sunday, April 15, 2018
New York University

María Irene Fornés (b. 1930, Havana, Cuba) is among the most influential American theater-makers of the twentieth century. A defining force within the off-off-Broadway movement of the 1960s and 1970s (and nine-time Obie Award winner), Fornés — as playwright, director, designer and teacher — became a guiding presence for emerging theater artists of the 1980s and 1990s, especially those invested in staging feminist, queer and latinx aesthetics and experiences. Fornés’ experiments in theatrical form and her transformative teaching techniques continue to challenge and inspire new generations of theater-makers today. Even so, the living legacy of María Irene Fornés remains remarkably under-acknowledged among contemporary theater artists, students and scholars. Currently 87 years old, Fornés resides on the upper West Side of Manhattan. Due to late stage Alzheimer’s disease, she is no longer writing or teaching.

In April 2018, multiple gatherings will activate broader awareness about Fornés’ multifaceted legacy among theater artists, scholars and students. On Saturday, April 14, Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts — in partnership with with the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) — will host the 2018 LTC María Irene Fornés Institute Symposium in Princeton, New Jersey. The 2018 LTC Fornés Symposium will convene an intergenerational “community gathering” of artists, academics, students, and others for a day of vigorous, Fornés-inspired creativity, conversation, and conviviality. On Sunday April 15, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts will present a Colloquium on María Irene Fornés. The NYU Fornés Colloquium will feature a panel of experts on Fornés, a roundtable of women directors discussing the influence of Fornés’ directorial work, and a concert reading of Fornés’s musical Promenade. This constellation of events aims to gather Fornés’ students and collaborators — as well as those who have been inspired by her — to deepen understanding of her work and her methods, to document her enduring impact, and to extend her living legacy into the twenty-first century.

Please note that all events have separate registration processes — some are free and open to the public, some performances are ticketed and open to the public, and some events are closed to the public. Interlude sessions are open to pre-registrants with any remaining seats available free to the general public; non-registrants can sign up for seats in interlude sessions starting at 9 a.m. in the Forum at the Lewis Arts complex on a first-come, first-reserved basis.

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SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE*:

THURSDAY, APRIL 12

4:30 PM:  Assistant Professor of Theater at Princeton Brian Herrera delivers the annual James Baldwin Lecture on “The Dramatist’s Call to Action” | 101 McCormick Hall, Princeton University
Free and open to the public.
Sponsored by Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies


FRIDAY, APRIL 13

4:30 PM: The Playwright’s Pedagogic Legacy: A Conversation with Migdalia Cruz & Mac Wellman. Moderated by Dr. Anne García-Romero | Wallace Theater, Lewis Arts complex, Princeton University
Free and open to the public. Event will also be live-streamed


SATURDAY, APRIL 14
Convening of the Latinx Theatre Commons | Princeton University

9 AM:  Breakfast Buffet | Forum, Lewis Arts complex

9 AM:  Legacy installation opens |Lewis Arts complex

10 AM:  Opening Ceremony/Plenary Session 1 | Forum, Lewis Arts complex (also live stream; open to public)

11 AM:  Break

11:15 AM:  Interlude 1 | Lewis Arts complex 

  • Open to pre-registrants with any remaining seats available free to the general public; non-registrants can sign up for seats starting at 9 a.m. in the Forum on a first-come, first-reserved basis.

1 PM:  Grab and Go Lunch | Forum, Lewis Arts complex

1 PM:  Book Exhibition opens |Lewis Arts complex

2 PM:  Interlude 2 | Lewis Arts complex

  • Open to pre-registrants with any remaining seats available free to the general public; non-registrants can sign up for seats starting at 9 a.m. in the Forum on a first-come, first-reserved basis.

2 PM:  Screening of The Rest I Make Up | Lewis Arts complex (open to public)

3:45 PM:  Break

4 PM:  Plenary Session 2 | Forum, Lewis Arts complex (also live stream; open to public)

5:30 PM:  Closing Ceremony | Forum, Lewis Arts complex (also live stream; open to public)

6 PM:  Dinner | Princeton University campus

6:30 PM:  Legacy Installation and Book Exhibition close

8 PM:  I am in Fifth Grade, You are in Kindergarten — Two One-acts by Cruz & Wellman in tribute to Fornés — The Book of Miaou: Don’t Drink Everything Your Mother Pours You & FNU LNU | Berlind Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center

  • This is a ticketed event

8 PM:  Fefu and Her Friends by María Irene Fornés | Maclean House

  • This is a ticketed event

8 PM: Screening of The Rest I Make Up | Lewis Arts complex (open to public)

 

The 2018 Latinx Theater Commons María Irene Fornés Institute Symposium is presented by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts in partnership with the Latinx Theater Commons (LTC) and is made possible with support from the Stephen Trask Lecture Series Fund, the Vice President for Campus Life, the Humanities Council, Center for Collaborative History, the Department of English, and the Programs in American Studies, Latino Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Latin American Studies. 

Questions about the events on April 14th? For more information, please contact: Abigail Vega at abigail@howlround.com


SUNDAY, APRIL 15
Colloquium | New York University

See more details at http://tisch.nyu.edu/tisch-research-news-events/research-at-tisch/upcoming-events/fornes-colloquium

11 AM:  The Evolution of Fornés Scholarship

  • A panel of Fornés scholars from the 1980s, 90s, 2000s, and today. With Bonnie Marranca, Scott Cummings, Gwendolyn Aker, and Anne García-Romero, in conversation with Alisa Solomon.

12:30 PM:  Lunch break

2-3:30 PM:  A concert reading of Promenade

  • Fornés’s musical from 1965, directed by Alice Reagan with musical direction by Nathan Koci.

4-5:30 PM:  Women Directors on Fornés as Director

  • Celebrated directors discuss the influence of Fornés’s work on their own. With Alice Reagan, Tina Satter, Gisela Cardenas, Katie Pearl, and Elena Araoz. Julia Jarcho chairs.

The NYU Colloquium is presented in partnership with the Latinx Theater Commons (LTC) and is made possible with support from the Drama Department, Institute of Performing Arts, Initiative for Creative Research and the Dean’s Office at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; with further support from NYU’s Center for the Humanities.

Questions about the events on April 15th? Please contact: Gwendolyn Alker, Distinguished Teacher and Director of Theatre Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University: fornessymposiumnyu@gmail.com

 

 

*Schedule details subject to change


Map / Directions
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DIRECTIONS

Symposium events will take place at locations across the Princeton University campus. Most events will take place in the Wallace Dance Building and Theater at the Lewis Arts complex, 122 Alexander Street, Princeton, New Jersey.

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

Learn about access information on our Accessibility page »

About Maria Irene Fornés

fornes headshot

Photo of María Irene Fornés by James M. Kent

María Irene Fornés (born May 14, 1930, Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban-born American dramatist. Her family moved to the United States in 1945, and she became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951. Fornés became a painter before beginning to write plays in the early 1960s. She wrote more than 40 stage works spanning 1961 to 2000, including the well-known Fefu and Her Friends (1977), and directed her own works as well as classic drama. Over the course of her long career, Fornes’ plays premiered at Judson Poets’ Theater and INTAR, among other off-off-Broadway theatres, and she had ongoing relationships with Theatre for the New City and Padua Hills Playwrights Festival in California. Her innovative dramas made her one of the most successful and frequently produced of Off-Broadway playwrights. In 1973 she founded the New York Theatre Strategy, which was devoted to the production of stylistically innovative theatrical works. Her numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy and Institute of Letters and Arts Award in Literature, a Playwrights U.S.A. Award, and nine OBIE Awards. Fornés lives in Manhattan and is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease.


Additional information:

www.AmericanTheatre.org

TheRestIMakeup.com

About the Latinx Theater Commons (LTC)

The Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) in partnership with HowlRound is a national movement that uses a commons-based approach to transform the narrative of the American theatre, to amplify the visibility of Latina/o/x performance making, and to champion equity through advocacy, art making, convening, and scholarship. Their values include Service, Radical Inclusion, Transparency, Legacy & Leadership Cultivation, and Advancement of the Art Form.

In May 2012 at Arena Stage, a group of eight Latina/o theatremakers (now known affectionately as the “DC 8”) led by Karen Zacarías came together under the auspices of what is now HowlRound and the idea for the LTC was born. That group partnered with Latina/o/x theatre communities from across the country to create a dedicated steering committee of over thirty practitioners who worked together to produce the first LTC National Convening, held in October 2013 at Emerson College in Boston. The National Convening was an historic event and an invaluable experience, and the LTC self-determined to continue and began looking ahead to future projects. After the 2013 National Convening in Boston, the LTC Steering Committee grew to almost fifty practitioners passionately working on initiatives all over the country.

Through collective efforts and a dedication to the commons-based approach, the LTC has been able to reach our goals of promoting the breadth of Latina/o/x theatre across the nation and re-imagining the American dramatic narrative.

The 2018 LTC Fornés Institute Symposium

The 2018 LTC Fornés Institute Symposium will be be the first formal gathering of the María Irene Fornés Institute, which works inside of the Latinx Theater Commons (LTC) to preserve and archive María Irene Fornés’s legacy as a teacher, mentor, and artist. This symposium will serve as both an opportunity for scholarship about the work and legacy of María Irene Fornés to be highlighted as well as a place for scholars, teachers, and practitioners to gather and learn more about this seminal Cuban American playwright and teacher. We believe that María Irene Fornés’s impact on Latinx Theatre, and the American Theatre at large, to be as great as other giants of our field, and we refuse to allow her legacy to be passed over by selective history and normative gatekeepers. We hope that by promoting her long list of achievements, advocating for her work to be taught in the university setting, and enlightening the field of her numerous students and their successes, we will be doing our part to ensure that her legacy is remembered for generations to come.

EVENT ARCHIVE

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Event Information

Sat Apr 14, 2018 · 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

Princeton University campus

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