María Irene Fornés has been called the greatest and least known dramatist of our time. She wrote over 40 plays, won nine OBIE awards, and mentored thousands of playwrights across the globe. Her epic What of the Night? was a finalist for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize. Theater luminaries such as Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill, Paula Vogel, Lanford Wilson, and Edward Albee have credited Irene as an inspiration and influence. “Her work has no precedents; it isn’t derived from anything. She’s the most original of us all,” said Lanford Wilson. Paula Vogel contends, “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.”
CalArts Center for New Performance / Duende CalArts screens the award-winning documentary The Rest I Make Up, an up-close look at the life and work of the highly influential Cuban American playwright María Irene Fornés. Directed by Michelle Memran, this intimate film follows Fornés as she reflects on her creative output, even as the onset of Alzheimer’s begins to dislodge her memories. Featuring archival footage together with interviews and commentary from Edward Albee, Ellen Stewart, Paula Vogel, John Guare, Oskar Eustis, and Migdalia Cruz, the film serves as a poignant portrait of a true theatrical innovator.
A panel discussion follows the screening, featuring the director Michelle Memran, playwright and Fornés student Eduardo Machado, and Los Angeles Times critic Charles McNulty, moderated by Director of Duende CalArts and School of Theater faculty Marissa Chibas.
The screening is part of Celebrando Fornés (Celebrating Fornés), a year-long event in which colleges, universities, and theatres across the United States raise awareness of Fornés’s impact on theatre and preserve the legacy of her work.