An Intellectual Crush on Maria Irene Fornes

I found her!  I mean, I discovered her.

Maria Irene Fornes.

Who? I know! I thought the same thing when I read her name on the “Feminist Fatale” column in The New Yorker today.

I discovered Maria Irene Fornes by mere chance. A Cuban-American woman (born in Havana, Cuba in 1930) whose works “set the stage” for modern theatre in theatre in the United States. She established herself as a playwright, director and teacher. A Cuban American femme fatale!

“Despite her awards, long career, and continued success as playwright and director, Fornes is relatively unknown to mainstream theater audiences. Many in the off-Broadway theater world consider her the industry’s ‘best kept secret.’ Critic Bonnie Marranca has said, ‘Working for more than twenty years in off-Broadway’s unheralded spaces, Fornes is an exemplary artist who, through her writing and teaching, has created a life in the theater away from the crass hype that attends many lesser beings.’ ” (Quoted from an article on Davidson College website).

I may have been living in a bubble, but this is the first time I learn about a Cuban American feminist woman who has kicked ass in the arts. You bet I went straight to the internet read/watch some some of her plays. Obsessive, I know. But that’s how it goes with love at first sight.

You know how those (who still believe in love) will say that when you meet your soul mate you just know? Well, I didn’t find my soul mate, but I found my inspiration.

Watch a full video of a recent performance of her play “Mud” (this is part 1 of 5, you can find the whole recording on www.


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