Photo of Fornés courtesy Broadway Play Publishing Inc
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 theaters, 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.