From 1967 to 1969 he was co-director of the STRATFORD FESTIVAL and from 1974 to 1978 head of television drama for the CBC. From 1981 to 1985 he was sole artistic director at Stratford, sustaining the theatre in a period when its existence was threatened. Between appointments he has guided productions for Ottawa's NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE, Toronto Arts Productions, Young People's Theatre and the SHAW FESTIVAL, as well as elsewhere in Canada and abroad.
Several of John Hirsch's American productions have been honoured. He won the Outer Circle Critics' Award for Saint Joan at the Lincoln Center, New York, an Obie Award for AC-DC at the Chelsea Theater, off-Broadway and the Drama Critics' Award for The Dybbuk at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles (1975), a play he translated and adapted.
His work has been seen, as well, at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Seattle Repertory Theater and the Habimah Theatre in Tel Aviv. Following his tenure at Stratford, John Hirsch taught theatre at Yale, was a visiting lecturer and director at U of California in San Diego and the Southern Methodist U in Dallas. He made one film as an actor, Sword of Gideon, in 1986. When he died in 1989 of AIDS, his life was celebrated in star-studded public tributes in Stratford, Winnipeg and Toronto. Awards in his name have been established for young directors in Ontario and playwrights in Manitoba.
Author DAVID GARDNER
Links to Other Sites
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre
The website for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Canada's first regional theatre. Catch the latest news about current and upcoming productions, a biography of the artistic director, a history of the theatre, and more.
Frances Hyland, Kate Reid, Martha Henry and John Hirsch's The Cherry Orchard at Stratford
This article chronicles the early careers of Frances Hyland, Kate Reid, and Martha Henry as well as their roles in Stratford's "The Cherry Orchard".
A Fiery Soul: The Life and Theatrical Times of John Hirsch
A review of a biography of legendary Canadian theatre director John Hirsch. From Quill & Quire.
John Hirsch biography remembers Canada’s greatest director
A review of a biography entitled "A Fiery Soul: The Life and Theatrical Times of John Hirsch", by Fraidie Martz and Andrew Wilson. From the National Post.
Actor Martha Henry reflects on her work with legendary theatre director John Hirsch. The Theatre Museum Canada channel at YouTube.
…and a John Hirsch story
A review of "A Fiery Soul – The Life and Theatrical Times of John Hirsch" from the website "The Hungarian Presence in Canada".
Café Chat: John Hirsch
A video clip featuring an interview with Andrew Wilson, co-author of the biography "A Fiery Soul: The Life and Theatrical Times of John Hirsch". From the Winnipeg Free Press channel on YouTube.
Citizens Hall of Fame
An organization devoted to recognizing individuals whose contributions have enhanced the City of Winnipeg.