María Irene Fornés

Literary Birthday – 14 May – María Irene Fornés

María Irene Fornés was born 14 May 1930 and died 30 October 2018.


  1. Having a play directed by someone else is like going to a religious school when you’re a child, you listen and obey. When you write a play you are in such an intimate relationship with it. This is yours, you created these characters. Even more than you created them, they came to you.
  2. I have to live with my own truth. I have to live with it. You live with your own truth. I cannot live with it.
  3. When I’m not doing something that comes deeply from me, I get bored. When I get bored I get distracted and when I get distracted, I become depressed. It’s a natural resistance, and it ensures your integrity.
  4. Theatre is a service where the god keeps changing. Sometimes it’s the actor. Sometimes it’s the director. Sometimes it’s the stage manager. Sometimes, but almost never, it’s the playwright.
  5. I think Mud is a feminist play but for a different reason. I think it is a feminist play because the central character is a woman, and the theme is one that writers usually deal with through a male character.
  6. This something I’ve done all my life—long before I started writing plays. Somebody would say something in the street, walking by me, and I would like the way it was said. Or I’d visualise the beginning of a conversation—a phrase only—three lines—things that just came to my mind—like when you’re sitting there and kind of putting on shoes and you hear people talking and you just write it down.
  7. There are two of you – one who wants to write and one who doesn’t. The one who wants to write better keep tricking the one who doesn’t.

SourceSource 2 for quotes
Source for photograph

Jennifer Lapinel-Spincken, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

María Irene Fornés was a Cuban-American avant garde playwright and director who was a leading figure of the Off-Off-Broadway movement in the 1960s. She wrote Fefu and Her Friends.

by Amanda Patterson

Posted on: 14th May 2015