Moiseiwitsch, Tanya

Tanya Moiseiwitsch (Mrs Felix Krish), set and costume designer (b at London, Eng 3 Dec 1914, d there 18 Feb 2003) began her training at London's Central School of Arts and Crafts, followed by the Scenic Painting course at the Old Vic, London. In 1935 Hugh Hunt brought her to Dublin's Abbey Theatre, where by 1939 she had designed over 50 productions. She subsequently became the designer for Q-Theatre (1940), the Oxford Playhouse (1941-44), and finally, the Old Vic (1944). In January 1945 Ben Jonson's The Alchemist initiated a 25-year collaboration with director Tyrone GUTHRIE that produced over 30 joint productions in Britain, Canada, Israel and the United States prior to his death in 1971.

At Stratford-on-Avon in 1949 Moiseiwitsch and Guthrie collaborated on a production of Henry VIII using a stylized Elizabethan stage that emphasized the actors by accentuating the costumes. They developed this concept further when Guthrie established the STRATFORD FESTIVAL in Canada. For the inaugural season, Moiseiwitsch designed the costumes and the wooden platform stage for the opening production of Richard III on 13 July 1953, starring Alex Guinness. She subsequently designed over 30 shows for the Stratford company, including The Taming of the Shrew (1954), Julius Caesar (1955), Twelfth Night (1957), Romeo and Juliet (1960), Antony and Cleopatra (1967), Cymbeline (1970) and All's Well That Ends Well (1977). Her most visually unified production was Sophocles' Oedipus Rex (Stratford, 1954, 1955, and filmed in 1956), which is noted for its highly textured costumes and the most successful use of masks ever achieved in Canada's professional theatre.

A retrospective exhibition of Moiseiwitsch's work was seen at Stratford in 1992, and she returned on a one-time basis to act as design consultant for the 1997 production of Oedipus Rex.

For creating the design concept that has guided the Stratford Festival since its creation, Tanya Moiseiwitsch was awarded the Diplome d'Honneur, Canadian Conference of the Arts, and honorary degrees from the University of Waterloo (1977) and the University of Toronto (1988).