“Hannah Moscovitch’s play is an articulate, poetic, beautifully written play with characters who are complex and complicated. A superb piece of writing that shines as a play, as a living piece of theatre, and no doubt, literature that will endure. The committee could not be more thrilled to have chosen this winning play.”—2021 Peer Assessment Citation
Hannah Moscovitch is an acclaimed Canadian playwright, TV writer, and librettist whose work has been widely produced in Canada and around the world. Recent stage work includes Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes and Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story (co-created with Christian Barry and Ben Caplan). Hannah has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Trillium Book Award, the Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, the Scotsman Fringe First and the Herald Angel Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize administered by Yale University. She has been nominated for the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Drama Desk Award, Canada’s Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, and the Governor General’s Literary Award. She is a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. She lives in Halifax.
Congrats on your Governor General’s Award, Hannah … among …
Over the next month, we’ll be interviewing all seven English-language winners of this year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards. We begin our coverage in conversation with renowned translator Linda Gaboriau, winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Translation. She won this year’s award for Birds of a Kind, her translation of Wajdi Mouawad’s play Tous des oiseaux (originally published in French by Leméac/Actes Sud-Papiers).
Praising her work, the jury says, "This translation artfully captures the constantly shifting identities and tones that form the core of this controversial play. With pitch perfect, evocative precision, Gaboriau once again shows her faultless grasp of the emotional and intellectual complexities and nuances of translating for the stage and, in particular, Mouawad’s brilliant, challenging work."
Linda Gaboriau is a literary translator and dramaturg. She has translated more than 125 plays, including those of some of Quebec’s foremost playwrights, which have been published and produced on both Canadian and international stages. She has received many awards for her work, namely two previous Governor General’s Literary Awards for Translation (Stone and Ashes, 1996, and Forests, 2010). Linda was the founding director of the Ba …
Next up on our special Governor General’s Award edition of The Chat, we speak with Hiro Kanagawa, winner of this year’s award for English-language Drama.
"Indian Arm is a timely and evocative manifestation of the characters’ struggle with their relationship to the land,” said the peer assessment committee of the work. “Hiro Kanagawa masterfully navigates the tension between Indigenous and settler identities as they work to figure out how we can live together. Mythic. Heart-breaking. Poetic."
Hiro Kanagawa is best known as an actor, but he was also a story editor on several critically-acclaimed Canadian television series: Da Vinci's Inquest, Da Vinci's City Hall, Intelligence, and Blackstone. His plays Tiger of Malaya and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park have been performed across Canada. His distinctions include an Asians on Film award and Jessie Richardson Awards for both acting and writing. Indian Arm previously received the 2015 Jessie Award for Outstanding Original Script. Hiro lives in Port Moody, BC, with his wife and two children and is a youth football coach.
We start off May in conversation with Catherine Hernandez, a multi-genre artist whose savvy debut novel Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press) has been generating lots of buzz.
In praising the book, writer Vivek Shraya says, “Scarborough showcases a necessary shift from the singular voice novel to create space for many voices to be heard—especially ones that are often forgotten. In her dexterous debut, Catherine Hernandez powerfully centres the margins by interlacing narratives that spotlight the beauty that thrives beyond the big city.”
Catherine Hernandez's one-woman show, The Femme Playlist, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as part of the afterRock Play Series. Her other plays include Singkil, Eating with Lola, Kilt Pins and Future Folk. She has served playwright residencies at Theatre Passe Muraille, Carlos Bulosan Theatre, Shaw Festival Theatre, Blyth Festival Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Nightswimming Theatre. Her children’s book. M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book was published by Flamingo Rampant. Scarborough is Cathe …
Next up in our special coverage of this year’s Governor General’s Awards is our chat with Colleen Murphy, winner of this year’s GG Award for Drama (English) for her play Pig Girl.
This year’s jury states, “Colleen Murphy weaves a masterfully structured examination of humanity within our most inhumane moments. Pig Girl forces us to relentlessly bear witness to a single night of horror that echoes the silenced ongoing violence against women. Difficult and harrowing, it asks us to acknowledge our collective responsibility. Arresting. Undeniable. Unforgettable.”
Colleen Murphy was born in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, and now divides her time between Toronto and Edmonton. Some of her other plays include The December Man (L’homme de décembre), which won the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the Carol Bolt Award, and the Alberta Theatre Projects Enbridge playRites Award; Armstrong’s War; and The Goodnight Bird. She is also librettist of Oksana G., which gets its world premiere at Tapestry Opera in May 2017, and an award-winning filmmaker whose distinct films have played in festivals around the world.
This week on The Chat, I’m in conversation with Vancouver writer and theatre artist Carmen Aguirre. Her powerful second memoir, Mexican Hooker #1, explores the many links between personal trauma, healing, and her life as an artist and activist. A follow-up to her Canada Reads winning bestseller, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, her new work mines the psychological, physical, and creative fallout of a brutal sexual assault committed against Aguirre when she was just 13 years old.
The Globe and Mail called the memoir “a powerful victory for survivors of abuse" while writer Alison Wearing says the book “roars with a kind of courage one rarely witnesses in this world. It is a harrowing read, horrific yet unexpectedly—almost impossibly—tender.”
Trevor Corkum: How was Mexican Hooker #1 born? When did you realize that it would become a book?