Dora Mavor Moore

Rehearsal for the 2009 Dora Awards
Era:
1933 -

Dora Mavor Moore (1888-1979) had been involved in Canada’s theatre scene since her debut performance as Rosalind in the Women’s Dramatic Club of University College production of As You Like It in 1908.1 At Hart House Theatre, Dora Mavor Moore worked under three separate artistic directors (Roy Mitchell, Bertram Forsyth, and Walter Sinclair) in such productions as Toils of Yoshitomo, Good Friday, and her last appearance on the stage in her favourite role as Viola in Twelfth Night.2 Her final performance was particularly praised.3 Her life as a mother and dissatisfaction with the life of an amateur actress inspired her to direct plays instead of act in them. In 1946, she founded a nonprofit theatrical company called the New Play Society which lasted for 10 seasons and produced about 72 plays, most of which were originals, but only eleven were written by Canadians. Though the NPS lost steam in 1956, it also ran a theatre school that outlasted it, and trained the likes of Leon Major and others. Dora’s contribution to Canadian theatre has not gone unnoticed as Toronto’s annual theatre awards have been named in her honour.4


Notes

Show 4 footnotes

  1. David Gardner, “Dora Mavor Moore,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 08/15/07,  http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/dora-mavor-moore/.
  2. Paula Sperdakos, Dora Mavor Moore: Pioneer of the Canadian Theatre (Toronto: ECW Press, 1995), 75.
  3. Paula Sperdakos, “Dora Mavor Moore: Before the New Play Society,” in Theatre Histories: Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English; vol. 13, ed. Alan Filewod (Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2009), 40-41.
  4. David Gardner, “Dora Mavor Moore,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 08/15/07,  http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/dora-mavor-moore/. Sperdakos, “Dora Mavor Moore: Before the New Play Society,” 33, 35.