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What’s On (Calgary): This is War by Hannah Moscovitch

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What’s On (Calgary): This is War by Hannah Moscovitch


What is it like to be a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan? With This Is War, award-winning playwright Hannah Moscovitch wanted to go beyond the news headlines and take a look at the soldiers’ perspectives. Drama student John Knight chose to direct this play as his MFA thesis project. The production opens on Oct. 18 and will run until Oct. 26 in the University Theatre.

Moscovitch won the 2014 Trillium Book Award for This Is War, a gripping drama centering on four Canadian soldiers who—while deployed in Afghanistan—were indirectly involved in atrocity. It was the first time in its history that a playwright won the award. According to the jury, “Moscovitch’s utterly believable dialogue is outshone only by her perverse, profound sense of humour which busts taboos and elevates her subject matter to an existential level.”

Under the direction of John Knight, the team of This Is War have immersed themselves in the production, with visits to the Military Museums, fight training and interviews with war veterans. Knight’s research will continue with post-show talkbacks on Oct. 19, 23 and 25 and a panel discussion on Oct. 20.

The School of Creative and Performing Arts is also pleased to offer an accessible performance with audio descriptions for blind or visually impaired audience members on Oct. 26.

Tickets are $21 (adults) and $16 (students/seniors) and are available online at


Director: MFA Candidate John Knight | Assistant director: Lexus Pleasant
Set, props, costume, lighting and projection design: MFA Candidate Graham Frampton
Assistant set, props and costume design: Megumi Hari | Assistant projection design: Eden Middleton
Sound design: Melike Ceylan
Stage Manager: Oliver Bailey | Assistant Stage Manager: Niamh McCallion

About the playwright

Hannah Moscovitch is an internationally acclaimed playwright, TV writer, and librettist. She has been honoured with numerous accolades, including multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and Toronto Theatre Critics Awards, Fringe First and Herald Angels Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Trillium Book Award, the Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, and the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize administered by Yale. She has also been nominated for multiple Drama Desk Awards, the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Siminovitch Prize and most recently for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award.


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