June 5, 1978|
Hannah Moscovitch (born June 5, 1978) is a Canadian playwright who rose to national prominence in the 2000s. She has been dubbed "an indie sensation" by Toronto Life Magazine; "the wunderkind of Canadian theatre" by CBC Radio; "irritatingly talented" by the now defunct Eye Weekly; and the "dark angel of Toronto theatre" by Toronto Star. The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and Now Magazine have all hailed Hannah as "Canada’s Hottest Young Playwright". She is best known for her plays East of Berlin, The Russian Play, and This Is War.
Life and career
Today based in Toronto and Halifax, she was raised in Ottawa. Her father, Allan Moscovitch, is a social policy professor at Carleton University. Her mother, Julie White, is a labour researcher. Both have long been active in left wing politics. Moscovitch's father is Jewish, of Romanian and Ukrainian background, while her mother is from a Christian background (of English and Irish ancestry). Moscovitch was "raised as an atheist", and has said that there is "implicitly Jewish sensibility" to her plays. She studied at the National Theatre School in the acting stream.
Moscovitch gained considerable notice for two short plays written for Toronto's SummerWorks. In 2005 she presented Essay, a play about gender politics in modern academia. The next year at the festival The Russian Play premiered, a romance set in Stalinist Russia. Both were well received by critics and audiences. In 2007 her first full-length play, East of Berlin, premiered at the Tarragon Theatre. The play focuses on the legacy of the Holocaust on the children of those involved. The main character is the son of a Nazi war criminal who grows up in Paraguay. He eventually travels to Berlin and meets the daughter of an Auschwitz survivor. The play was acclaimed for its complex subject, humour, and characters and was also a popular success, returning to Tarragon in winter 2009 and 2010.
2013 saw the premiere of This Is War, a play depicting the lives of Canadian troops in Afghanistan. This Is War won multiple awards with one reviewer writing "Moscovitch shines a light on massive issues like sexual harassment within the military without making her play a morality tale or exposé. It’s a story about four good people in a bad place and all the gray area that that produces." In 2015, Moscovitch wrote the play Infinity about a physicist who becomes involved in a love story while contemplating the nature of time. She collaborated with Lee Smolin to lend verisimilitude to some of the theoretical ideas.
Hannah Moscovitch has written a play for young audiences called In This World. This play, which premiered in March 2009 through Montreal's Youtheatre, deals with violence and sexual and racial politics. Moscovitch’s other writing for the stage includes Little One, The Children’s Republic and The Huron Bride (a ghost story). Her plays have been produced across Canada, including at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Ottawa’s Great Canadian Theatre Company, The National Arts Centre, Toronto's Factory Theatre, Edmonton’s Theatre Network, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre, and the Alberta Theatre Projects. Moscovitch is currently playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre and was previously a contributing writer to the CBC radio drama series Afghanada (2006-2011).
- Essay – 2005
- The Russian Play – 2006
- East of Berlin – 2007
- In This World – 2008
- The Children's Republic – 2009
- The Huron Bride – 2009
- Little One – 2011
- Other People's Children – 2012
- This Is War – 2012
- I Have no Stories to Tell You – 2013
- What a Young Wife Ought To Know – 2014
- Infinity – 2014
- Bunny – 2016
- The Kaufman Kabaret – 2016
- Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story - 2017
Awards and honours
Hannah Moscovitch won a Dora Mavor Moore Award in 2010 for In This World and the Trillium Book and Toronto Critic's Awards in 2014 for This Is War. She has also won the SummerWorks Prize for Best Production. Award nominations received by Moscovitch include the Siminovitch Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Carol Bolt Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the KM Hunter Award and the Toronto Arts Council Foundation Emerging Artist Award. She received the Windham–Campbell Literature Prize (2016) in the Drama category.
- Lewis, Jules (2014-02-18). "Hannah Moscovitch". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Morrow, Martin (2015-03-31). "A play that takes the cosmos personally". Torontoist. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- Sage, Amanda (2014-10-03). "Hannah Moscovitch, playwright sensation". Kickass Canadians. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Zekas, Rita (2008-01-19). "Play's the thing with Hannah Moscovitch". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- Prokosh, Kevin (2009-11-19). "What's her line?". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
- "Glendon's bpNichol reading series welcomes Hannah Moscovitch". York University. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Posner, Michael (2009-01-13). "Hannah Moscovitch: Hit factory". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Ouzounian, Richard (2007-10-20). "Hannah Moscovitch is already famous". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Kaminer, Michael (2013-02-23). "Canada's guiltiest playwright". Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "Guild profile". Playwrights Guild of Canada. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Bedard, Kelly (2013-01-11). "This Is War by Hannah Moscovitch". Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- "Hannah Moscovitch". Windham–Campbell Literature Prize. February 29, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Moscovitch is already famous" Toronto Star Oct 20, 2007
- "Hannah Moscovitch: Playwright revisits the production that set her career in motion" NOW Magazine January 16, 2008
- "Hannah Moscovitch: Hit factory The Globe and Mail. January 13, 2009