Experimental theatre company Mabou Mines, Weathervane Productions, and Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival team up for a celebration of the late Cuban-American playwright María Irene Fornés. Running February 21–March 7 in Manhattan, the lineup includes the New York premiere of Drowning, Glass’ opera re-imagining of Fornés’ short play of the same name, and an intimate production of her play Mud, featuring new music by the composer.
Both Mud and Drowning are directed by Mabou Mines Co-Founder JoAnne Akalaitis and will play at Mabou Mines' 99-seat black box theatre. Visit maboumines.org for tickets.
Mud features a cast made up of Paul Lazar, Giselle LeBleu Gant, Bruce MacVittie, and Wendy vanden Heuvel. Drowning will feature Gregory Purnhagen, Peter Stewart, and Brandon Hynum. Michael Ferrara, music director, will be playing keyboard; Lavinia Meijer and Victoria Drake will alternate performances on the harp.
“The program is intended to express that world of Irene’s, which is about the terribly poignant and unfulfilled longing for some kind of emotional accomplishment in life that often gets dashed—that’s what both of these pieces are about," says Akalaitis. “We hope it offers a glimpse into the range of Irene’s rich theatrical landscape and the heart of an artist who never soothes and continues to astonish.”
Rounding out the programming: a free concert performance of Fornés and Al Carmine's musical Promenade, directed by Morgan Green (March 2 at 7 PM), and a free screening of Michelle Memran’s Fornés Documentary The Rest I Make Up (February 24 at 7 PM).
The Drowning/Mud creative team includes scenic and costume designer Kaye Voyce, lighting designer Thomas Dunn, and makeup designer Gabrielle Vincent. Promenade will feature musical direction by Nathan Repasz and associate musical direction by Jonjas Merck.