The Fornés Festival

(part of a series)

Location: Philbin Studio Theatre, Debartolo Performing Arts Center

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Notre Dame Film, Television, and Theatre presents

The Fornés Festival
A series of staged play readings and academic engagement events celebrating the legacy of the prolific Cuban American playwright María Irene Fornés (1930-2018), in conjunction with the national Celebrando Fornés/Celebrating Fornés 2019-2020 initiative, a year-long event that seeks to raise awareness of Fornés’s impact on theatre and preserve the legacy of her work. Curated by FTT professor Anne García-Romero, a former student of Fornés, The Fornés Festival (October 2-13) will present staged readings of four of Fornés’ most notable works: Fefu and her Friends (1977), directed by Stacy Stoltz; Mud (1983), directed by Carys KresnyThe Conduct of Life (1986), directed by Anton Juan; and The Summer in Gossensass (1997), director TBD. The festival will also include a screening of a documentary portrait of Fornés, The Rest I Make Up, in the Browning Cinema.


Fefu and Her Friends
by María Irene Fornés
Wednesday, October 2 at 7:30 pm  & Sunday, October 13 at 2:30 pm

Eight women meet in the New England home of Fefu to rehearse for an educational fundraiser. The play morphs into an environmentally staged look into the intimate lives and relationships of these women. Winner of the 1977 Obie Award for Playwriting, Fefu and Her Friends explores complex feminism in the early 20th century.

by María Irene Fornés
Thursday, October 3 & Friday, October 11 at 7:30 pm

Mae lives with Lloyd in considerable rural poverty, but she attends classes and is committed to learning to read. Winner of the 1984 Obie Award for Playwriting, Mud delves into one woman’s desire for education against all odds.

The Conduct of Life
by María Irene Fornés
Friday, October 4 and Thursday, October 10 at 7:30 pm

Orlando, a sadistic army lieutenant, lives with his older wife, Leticia, and their servant, Olimpia, in a private home in an unidentified Latin American country. Winner of the 1985 Obie Award for Best New American play, The Conduct of Life investigates the brutality of a dictatorship and its oppression of women.

The Summer in Gossensass
by María Irene Fornés
Sunday, October 6 at 2:30 pm & Wednesday, October 9 at 7:30 pm

In London in 1891, Elizabeth Robins, a celebrated American actress, and her friend, Marion Leah, a well-known British actress, clamor at the possibility of performing in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Based on a true story, Summer in Gossensass offers meditations on Ibsen’s classic play, the craft of acting, and a life in the theatre. 

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