The Fornes Frame: Contemporary Latina Playwrights and the Legacy of Maria Irene Fornes



A key way to view Latina plays today is through the foundational frame of playwright and teacher Maria Irene Fornes, who has trained a generation of theatre artists and transformed the field of American theatre. Fornes, author of Fefu and Her Friends and Sarita and a nine-time Obie Award winner, is known for her plays that traverse cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic borders.

In The Fornes Frame: Contemporary Latina Playwrights and the Legacy of Maria Irene Fornes, Anne Garc a-Romero considers the work of five award-winning Latina playwrights in the early twenty-first century, offering her unique perspective as a theatre studies scholar who is also a professional playwright.

The playwrights in this book include Pulitzer Prize-winner Quiara Alegr a Hudes; Obie Award-winner Caridad Svich; Karen Zacar as, resident playwright at Arena Stage in Washington, DC; Elaine Romero, member of the Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit in Chicago, Illinois; and Cusi Cram, company member of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City.

Using four key concepts--cultural multiplicity, supernatural intervention, Latina identity, and theatrical experimentation--Garc a-Romero shows how these playwrights expand past a consideration of a single culture toward broader, simultaneous connections to diverse cultures. The playwrights also experiment with the theatrical form as they redefine what a Latina play can be. Following Fornes's legacy, these playwrights continue to contest and complicate Latina theatre.

Product Details

University of Arizona Press
Publish Date
March 24, 2016
5.4 X 0.7 X 8.4 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author

Anne García-Romero is a playwright and theatre studies scholar. Her plays include Paloma, Provenance, Earthquake Chica, Mary Peabody in Cuba, Mary Domingo, Juanita's Statue, and Santa Concepción. She has published numerous articles on Latina/o theatre, community-based theatre, and playwriting pedagogy. She is a founding member of the Latina/o Theatre Commons, and is the Thomas J. and Robert T. Rolfs Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame.


"It takes time to appreciate fully the impact of a writer's work and her teachings. This eloquent book is the result of Fornes's legacy and the many Latina writers she inspired."--Nilo Cruz, author of Anna in the Tropics
"A privileged insider look into the works of these five outstanding playwrights."--Teresa Marrero, co-editor of Out of the Fringe: Contemporary Latina/Latino Theatre and Performance

"The author's conclusions about Fornes and the generation of Latina dramatists are incredibly important and insightful."--Tiffany Ana López, editor of Growing up Chicana/o: An Anthology