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John Hirsch
JOHN HIRSCH (Director) was born in Siófok, Hungary, May 1, 1930, and died in Toronto, Ontario, August 1, 1989. His family lived in Endrod. His parents and brother died in the Holocaust. Hirsch, then 14, was hidden from the Nazis by a maid who took him to the Budapest Ghetto. At the end of the war, with the help of a cell of the Zionist Undergroud, he was part of a group of 175 Jewish orphans smuggled out of Hungary into Romania. From there he went to Greece, then Israel, before finally arriving in Canada. He arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1947, studied at the University of Manitoba and formed a children's theatre company. In 1957, he co-founded, with Tom Hendry, Theatre 77 which, in 1958, joined with Winnipeg Little Theatre to become the country's first regional theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre. Mr. Hirsch was the company's first artistic director. John Hirsch made his Stratford Festival debut, invited by Michael Langham, with The Cherry Orchard. He was associate director of the company from 1967-69 and head of CBC television drama from 1974-78. His love-hate relationship with Stratford, its critics and audience reached a climax in 1980. After some disastrous shenanigans involving Stratford's board of directors and their choices for a new artistic director, Hirsch was invited to be the company's sole artistic director from 1981-85. He had also directed at the National Arts Centre, Toronto Arts Productions, Young People's Theatre, the Shaw Festival as well as at Stratford (where his 1976 production of Chekhov's Three Sisters starring Marti Maraden, Martha Henry and Maggie Smith was breathtaking). He had also directed in the United States, winning an Obie, Outer Critics' and Los Angeles Drama Critics' Awards for his productions. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1967 and was one of the first high-profile Canadian artists to die of AIDS.

Bio as of May, 2010.



American Theatre Wing programs, interviews and/or credits include:

SDCF Masters of the Stage (audio)
John Hirsch - October, 1984 - Listen Now.

Internet Broadway Database Listing (IBDB.com)