February 25th – March 1st 2014
Firehall Arts Centre
280 E Cordova Street
Tues to Fri 8pm
Preview Tues Feb 25 8pm
PWYC Matinee Wed Feb 26 1pm
Post-Show Talkback Thurs 27 8pm
Sat Mar 1 5pm & 9pm
Tuesday – Thursday (& Matinees)
Young Adults / Students / Seniors $20
Friday & Saturday Evenings
Young adults / Students / Seniors $25
Pay-What-You-Can (at the door*)
*subject to availability.
Created by Alon Nashman and Paul Thompson
Fresh from its triumphant Stratford premiere, this tour de force one man show chronicles the life of director John Hirsch. Orphaned by the Holocaust at age thirteen, he found refuge in Canada, where his talent and temperament made him an unforgettable force in our national theatre.
Reviews from Hirsch's recent tour to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
“There are moments during a fringe festival that grab you and hold every ounce of your being…. Hirsch’s extraordinary life is presented with unflinching honesty and brutal realism.... There is a powerful effortlessness to Nashman’s performances that is... mesmerizing.... Thompson’s direction is crisp and meticulous in its detail.” ★★★★★
The New Current
“Yes We Canada! Hirsch is a fantastic, passionate and informative piece of theatre, well written and brilliantly performed. Nashman had me gripped from start to finish. ★★★★
“You'd perhaps expect that a play about a gay, Jewish, Hungarian refugee who winds up in the badlands of Canada might have limited appeal to audiences at the Fringe. In fact, Alon Nashman and Paul Thompson's Hirsch is a beautifully-written look at the life of one man, brought to life by Nashman's thrilling performance.” ★★★★★
More About the Play
HIRSCH premiered in 2012 at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where it was embraced by audiences, and reviewed glowingly by media across Canada, as well as Chicago Tribune and New York Times. It chronicles the life of John Hirsch, a Hungarian refugee, orphaned in the Holocaust at age thirteen, who found sanctuary in Winnipeg. His fierce talent and stormy temperament won him acclaim as a brilliant theatre director.
John Hirsch was an original and an originator, a galvanizing cultural force in Canada and across the continent. He c0-created the Manitoba Theatre Centre, was a seminal teacher at the National Theatre School, he helped steward the Canada Council in it's formative years. He served as Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, once in collaboration with Jean Gascon from 1967-1969, and again from 1981-1985. John became head of CBC Drama from 1974-1979. He directed on and off Broadway, often at Lincoln Center. The range and impact of his work was immense: From Brecht to Lorca, Shakespeare to Sophocles, wacky Musical to, perhaps most memorably, Chekhov. He worked closely with, and often was a mentor to luminaries such as Martha Henry, Dan Sullivan, Ming Cho Lee, Alan Bates, Frank Langella, Tanya Moiseiwitsch, Douglas Campbell, John Lahr, Len Cariou, and Zoe Caldwell.
The play was built in the classic Paul Thompson mode of Canadian Collective Creation, from direct research which blossomed into improvisation, which was then recorded, refined and ordered. It challenges the whole notion of solo biographical plays. It presents a fierce yet humorous debate: Who has greater ownership of John Hirsch's life, Alon or John? And who is driving this play, subject or storyteller?
Presented with the 2014 Chutzpah! Festival and the Firehall Arts Centre
Alon Nashman, Performer/Co-creator
Paul Thompson, Director/Co-creator
Gillian Gallow, Set and Costume Designer
Itai Erdal, Lighting Designer
Verne Good, Sound Designer
Bob White, Dramaturge
Elizabeth Bradley Arts Enterprises, Producer
Richard Jordan Productions LTD, Producer
The Pleasance, Edinburgh, Associate Producer
Photo of Alon Nashman by Andrew Eccles