Fiery Soul: The Life and Theatrical Times of John Hirsch

Fraidie Martz

John Hirsch arrived in Winnipeg in 1947, a 17-year-old Hungarian orphan of the Holocaust, knowing no English. Ten years later, he co-founded the Manitoba Theatre Centre, establishing a model for regional theatres across North America. He went on to direct award-winning productions in Los Angeles, New York, Stratford and Toronto – everything from Guys and Dolls to The Tempest-and to work with actors like Len Cariou, Martha Henry, Anthony Hopkins, and Maggie Smith. Notorious for his fiery temper, budget-blowing sets, and artistic risk-taking, he had a stormy four years as CBC's head of TV drama in the 1970s [high and low points include King of Kensington and Peter Lougheed's lawsuit over The Tar Sands], and an even stormier tenure as Artistic Director at the Stratford Festival from 1981 to 1985. He died in 1989 of AIDS.

Biography & Autobiography 2011


Praise for A Fiery Soul: The Life and Theatrical Times of John Hirsch

"They have together (Martz and Wilson) done a wonderful job of recounting the life of John Hirsch and documenting his extraordinary contribution." -Canadian Jewish Studies

"In life and on stage, John Hirsch knew how to corrupt his audience with pleasure. Swift of mind and of gesture, Hirsch was a dazzling director—playful, witty, and daring; as a friend and collaborator, he was some kind of rabbinical Hungarian mensch. Unforgettable." —John Lahr, Senior Drama Critic, The New Yorker

Vancouver author Fraidie Martz is a psychiatric social worker by training. She became interested in John Hirsch when she wrote Open Your Hearts [Véhicule Press, 1996], the story of the Jewish war orphans who came to Canada after World War II, of whom Hirsch was the most famous.

Other books by Fraidie Martz: Open Your Hearts: The Story of the Jewish War Orphans in Canada
Trade paperback
255 pp 8.5" x 5.5"
ISBN13: 9781550653199

CDN $22.00
US & International
US $22.00