Film Screening: The Rest I Make Up
December 3, 2018
UMass Amherst Campus
About the film:
“The visionary Cuban-American dramatist and educator María Irene Fornés spent her career constructing astonishing worlds onstage and teaching countless students how to connect with their imaginations. When she gradually stops writing due to dementia, an unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignites her spontaneous creative spirit and triggers a decade-long collaboration that picks up where the pen left off.
The duo travels from New York to Havana, Miami to Seattle, exploring the playwright's remembered past and their shared present. Theater luminaries such as Edward Albee, Ellen Stewart, Lanford Wilson, and others weigh in on Fornés’s important contributions. What began as an accidental collaboration becomes a story of love, creativity, and connection that persists even in the face of forgetting.”
MICHELLE MEMRAN is a journalist, illustrator, and filmmaker. For nearly twenty years she’s worked as a reporter, researcher, and editor in New York City.
She’s also written for numerous publications, including Newsweek, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Vanity Fair and American Theatre magazine. Her oil pastel portraits have been commissioned by The New York Times Book Review, as well as by various theatrical and film productions, including The Civilians’ production of The Ladies written by Anne Washburn, and the independent film Adrift in Manhattan, starring Heather Graham.
The Rest I Make Up is Michelle’s first film, for which she has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Frameline Completion Fund, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the JKW Foundation, and more than 600 individual donors. While working on The Rest I Make Up, Michelle was awarded fellowships at The MacDowell Colony and Brown University, where she twice served as a visiting artist in the University’s Theatre Arts & Performance Studies Department.
Most recently, as part of Brown’s Fitt Artist Residency in 2016, Michelle collaborated with theater director Katie Pearl on a new performance and film project that juxtaposed characters and scenes from the plays of Maria Irene Fornes with outtakes from the film’s footage.
MIGDALIA CRUZ is an award-winning playwright who has written more than sixty plays, operas, screenplays, and musicals. Her work has been produced across the U.S. and abroad at various venues including: Mabou Mines, Classic Stage Company, Playwrights Horizons, INTAR, New York Shakespeare Festival’s Festival Latino, Theatre For The New City, and many, many more. She has been nurtured by Maria Irene Fornés’ Playwrights’ Laboratory at INTAR, Royal Court Theatre/New Dramatists Exchange in London, and Steppenwolf Theatre’s New PlaysLab, among others.
She taught playwriting at U.of Iowa/Playwrights’ Workshop, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Princeton University, and at Amherst College. Migdalia was awarded the 2013 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award and is a 1996 recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays award for Another Part Of The House. Her play, The Have-little was the runner-up for the 1991 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and SALT was a 1997 runner-up. She participated in Obsidian Theatre of Toronto’s International Playwrights Festival in 2009, won a 2016 NYFA grant, 2005 Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, and a 1994 Connecticut Commission on The Arts grant for playwriting. Migdalia received her MFA degree from Columbia University. She is an alumna of New Dramatists. She was born and raised in the Bronx.
This screening was made possible in part by a grant from the UMass Arts Council, the Five College Multicultural Theater Committee, The Dramatists Guild Foundation, the Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success, the UMass Department of Communication, and the UMass Department of Theater.