María Irene Fornés

This play is included in the collection:

Winner of a 1984 Obie Award


A play in 17 scenes. Mae seeks to escape the basic life she has been living with Lloyd through education. She befriends Henry, who offers to teach her, but he has a stroke and is forced to remain in the care of Mae and Lloyd. Neither Henry nor Lloyd wish for Mae to leave them, which ultimately leads to her brutal killing before she is able to attain the freedom for which she has fought.

Production Info

Cast: 3 total (1 female, 2 male)
Full Length Drama (about 70 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“THE DANUBE and MUD have paved the way for a new language of dramatic realism.” —Bonnie Marranca, Theaterwritings

“Playwright María Irene Fornés’s production of her play MUD — a stark drama set amid the groping lives of the rural poor that I saw last year — spoke in the steely voice of a writer who knew exactly what she intended with every word, every gesture. MUD’s spare, direct poetry was crystal-clear.” —Scott Rosenberg, San Francisco Examiner

About the Author


  • María Irene Fornés

    Fornés was born on May 14, 1930, in Havana, Cuba, to Carlos Luis and Carmen Hismenia Fornés. After her father died in 1945, she moved with her mother and sister to the United States, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951. From 1954 to 1957, Fornés lived in Paris, studying to become a painter. However, after attending a French production of Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT, Fornés decided to devote her creative energies toward playwriting. Upon returning to the United States, she worked for three years as a textile designer in New York City. THE WIDOW, Fornés's first professionally produced play, was staged in 1961. Fornés acted as the director for many of her subsequent works, including THERE! YOU DIED (1963; later retitled TANGO PALACE, 1964), THE SUCCESSFUL LIFE OF 3: A SKIT IN VAUDEVILLE (1965), and MOLLY'S DREAM (1968), among others. In 1973 she founded the New York Theatre Strategy, which was devoted to the production of stylistically innovative theatrical works. Fornés has held teaching and advisory positions at several universities and theatrical festivals, such as the Theatre for the New City, the Padua Hills Festival, and the INTAR (International Arts Relations) program in New York City. She received eight Obie awards — in such categories as distinguished playwriting and direction and best new play — for PROMENADE (1965), THE SUCCESSFUL LIFE OF 3, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, THE DANUBE (1982), MUD, SARITA (1984), THE CONDUCT OF LIFE, and ABINGDON SQUARE (1987). Fornés received numerous other awards and grants for her oeuvre, including Rockefeller Foundation Grants in 1971 and 1984, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972, National Endowments for the Arts grants in 1974, 1984, and 1985, an American Academy and Institute of Letters and Arts Award in Literature in 1986, and a Playwrights U.S.A. Award in 1986. She also produced several original translations and adaptations of such plays as Federico Garcia Lorca's BLOOD WEDDING (1980), Pedro Calderón de la Barca's LIFE IS A DREAM (1981), Virgilio Piñera's COLD AIR (1985), and Anton Chekhov's UNCLE VANYA (1987). She died in New York City on October 30, 2018.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher PAJ Books
Publication Date 7/1/2001
Pages 152
ISBN 9780933826830

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced by the Padua Hills Festival, Claremont CA

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Mud is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


10/3/2024 – 10/12/2024
Atlanta, GA

9/21/2022 – 10/9/2022
Aloes Llc
New York, NY

2/27/2022 – 2/28/2022
Antaeus Theatre Company
Glendale, CA

5/23/2019 – 5/23/2019
Kindair At The Benson Theatre
Omaha, NE

10/13/2017 – 10/27/2017
Boundless Theatre Company Inc.
New York, NY


3/22/2024 – 3/31/2024
Unlv Theatre
Las Vegas, NV

11/5/2023 – 11/6/2023
Division Of Theatre/southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

9/20/2023 – 9/22/2023
Grotwoski Institute Lab Space
Wroclaw, PL, Poland

6/26/2023 – 7/14/2023
The Lir, National Academy Of Dramatic Art
Dublin, Ireland

3/31/2023 – 4/2/2023
Webster University
Webster Groves, MO

5/5/2022 – 5/8/2022
Salisbury University
Salisbury, MD

3/11/2022 – 3/11/2022
Student Theater Council
Norman, OK

12/15/2021 – 12/15/2021
Bunker Hill Community College
Boston, MA

10/28/2021 – 11/1/2021
Columbia University Graduate Theatre Program
New York, NY

9/24/2021 – 9/26/2021
Columbia University School Of The Arts Theatre Program
New York, NY

8/6/2021 – 8/27/2021
The Artistic Home Acting Ensemble
Chicago, IL

3/2/2021 – 3/14/2021
Boston University Cfa Sot
Boston, MA

12/8/2020 – 12/12/2020
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

11/16/2020 – 11/18/2020
School Of Theatre & Dance, Illinois State University
Normal, IL

2/21/2020 – 3/7/2020
C/o Aloes, Llc
New York, NY

2/2/2020 – 2/3/2020
Professional Actor Training Program - Unc Ch
Chapel Hill, NC

12/6/2019 – 12/8/2019
Marymount Manhattan College
New York, NY

10/3/2019 – 10/11/2019
Notre Dame Film, Television, And Theatre
Notre Dame, IN

9/27/2019 – 10/6/2019
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV

9/12/2019 – 9/22/2019
California Repertory Company
Long Beach, CA

4/23/2019 – 4/28/2019
The Theatre School At Depaul University
Chicago, IL

4/12/2019 – 4/12/2019
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

2/7/2019 – 2/10/2019
Augsburg University Theater
Minneapolis, MN

4/20/2018 – 4/21/2018
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL

2/22/2018 – 2/24/2018
Yale Cabaret
New Haven, CT

2/7/2018 – 2/10/2018
Drew University Theatre & Dance Dept.
Madison, NJ

12/11/2017 – 12/11/2017
Texas A&m University Corpus Christi Theatre Dept.
Corpus Christi, TX

11/3/2017 – 11/4/2017
Kenyon College
Gambier, OH

8/11/2017 – 8/12/2017
Cornerstone Theatre Troupe
Moscow, ID

7/13/2017 – 7/30/2017
Ese Teatro
Seattle, WA

6/1/2017 – 6/3/2017
Theatre Intime
Princeton, NJ

5/3/2017 – 5/21/2017
Brown/trinity Mfa Programs
Providence RI

5/2/2017 – 5/2/2017
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID

3/16/2017 – 3/19/2017
University Of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD

2/2/2017 – 2/11/2017
Tennessee Tech University
Cookeville, TN

10/20/2016 – 11/6/2016
Thinking Cap Theatre
Fort Lauderdale, FL

5/11/2016 – 5/12/2016
William Inge Theatre
Lawrence, KS

5/5/2016 – 5/6/2016
Connecticut College Theater Department
New London, CT

4/28/2016 – 5/1/2016
Worcester State University
Worcester, MA

4/14/2016 – 4/16/2016
SUNY Purchase College
Purchase, NY

3/16/2016 – 3/18/2016
University Of Victoria, Department Of Theatre
Victoria, BC, Canada