Fonds MSS 492 - John Hirsch fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John Hirsch fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA UMASC MSS 492

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1949-1973 (Creation)
    Creator
    John Hirsch

Physical description area

Physical description

0.13 m of textual records; 4 map folders.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1949-1973)

Biographical history

John Hirsch was born in Hungary in 1930. He came to Canada in 1947 at age 17 through the War Orphans Project of the Canadian Jewish Congress. This project worked with children under 18 who had survived the Holocaust but no longer had an adult to act as guardian. He was taken in by Alex and Pauline Shack, and their daughter Sybil, in Winnipeg and continued a close relationship with the family throughout his life.

In 1952, Hirsch graduated with a BA in English literature from the University of Manitoba. He established a puppet theatre before co-founding Theatre 77 with Tom Hendry in 1957. In 1958, Hirsch and Hendry amalgamated Theatre 77 with Winnipeg Little Theatre into the Manitoba Theatre Centre (MTC). This theatre became the model for regional theatre through Canada and the United States. Hirsch was the first artistic director of MTC and stayed until 1966 when he then became co-artistic director at the Stratford Festival from 1967-1969. From 1974-1978, he was head of CBC’s television drama. Hirsch was consulting artistic director at the Seattle Repertory Theatre from 1979-1981. He returned to the Stratford Festival as artistic director from 1981-1985.

Hirsch is recognized as one of Canada’s most prominent theatre directors. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1967. He also received Obie, Outer Circle Critics' and Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Awards for his productions in the United States. The John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer was established by the Manitoba Foundation for the Arts in 1989 to honour him.

Hirsch died on August 1, 1989 in Toronto after being ill with AIDS.

Custodial history

The fonds was extracted from material donated by Sybil Shack in 2004.

Scope and content

The fonds consist of correspondence to Hirsch, artwork, tapes, and various textual material relating to his personal life and career.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

There are no restrictions on use.

Finding aids

A finding aid can be downloaded from the fonds-level description by clicking on the "Download" link under "Finding Aid" on the right-hand side of the screen.

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No further accruals are expected.

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Status

Draft

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised by N.Courrier (September 2018). Revised by M. Horodyski (October 2018).

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Script of description

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