María Irene Fornés’ works Mud, featuring original music by Philip Glass, and Drowning, transformed into an opera by Glass, return to Mabou Mines September 21. The revival, presented with Weathervane Productions and in association with Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival, will officially open September 24, with a run through October 9.
Starring in Mud will be Paul Lazar, Sifiso Mabena, Tony Torn, and Wendy Vanden Heuvel while Tomas Cruz, Gregory Purnhagen, and Peter Stewart will star in Drowning. Mud/Drowning was first performed in 2019 in California as part of the Days and Nights Festival.
JoAnne Akalaitis will return to helm the production which will feature scenic and costume design by Kaye Voyce, lighting design by Thomas Dunn, and make-up design by Gabrielle Vincent and Anne Ford Coates. Kate Croasdale serves as production stage manager and Kendra Bator and Tom Casserly are executive producers.
Fornés wrote Drowning based upon Anton Chekhov’s short story, following a man who falls in love with a woman in a photograph and drowns in grief. The piece was written alongside Mud, a drama centered around a love-hate triangle that explores the hopes and trials of the hard-working Mae, who lives in rural poverty with plans to improve her life despite the problems she faces and the men who stand between her and her goals.
Akalaitis said in a statement, “Fornés is also known as La Maestra—the teacher of a generation of playwrights. She creates worlds within worlds and then hurls audiences headlong into them: rural poverty, secret brutality in the center of banal households, angry eccentric women, violence and humiliation, sexual obsession—and often through the voices of those who dream of a more fulfilled life or love, articulating their longings in Fornés’ beautiful, terse, emotional language, which is both highly stylized and surprisingly natural.”
The run will also include a free screening of the 2018 documentary about Fornés, The Rest I Make Up, October 3 at 7:30 PM.
For tickets and more information, visit MabouMines.org.