Mavor Moore

James Mavor Moore (1919- ), playwright, composer, actor, director, radio and television producer, and arts administrator, was born in Toronto and educated at the University of Toronto (B.A., 1941). He produced features and documentaries for the CBC before joining the military to serve in the Second World War in 1943. In 1946, Moore helped his mother establish the New Play Society (which Dora Mavor Moore ran until it was disbanded in 1971) and served as general manager of NPS for many years. With his life-long dedication to the arts and the theatre, Moore is the founder of a vast range of artistic projects, many of which became Canadian institutions, such as Spring Thaw, the Charlottetown Festival, the Canadian Theatre Centre, and Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre. Moore was also the first chairman of the Guild of Canadian Playwrights, the first chief producer for CBC television, a governor of the first Stratford Festival, a founding governor of the National Theatre School, advisor to the National Arts Centre, Theatre Calgary, Vancouver Playhouse and the Neptune Theatre, chairman of the Canada Council during a recession (1979-1983), and is the author of over 100 works for stage, radio, and television. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1973 and in 1999 won a Governor General’s Award. Moore taught in the Departments of English and Theatre at York University from 1970 to 1984 and is now professor emeritus of York University as well as research professor at the Universities of Lethbridge and Victoria. His major publications include: monographs: And What Do YOU Do?: A Short Guide to the Trades & Professions (1960); Louis Riel: An Opera in Two Acts (1967); Getting In (1973); Four Canadian Playwrights: Robertson Davies, Gratien Gelinas, James Reaney, George Ryga (1973); The Pile. Inside Out. The Store (1973); Six Plays by Mavor Moore (1989), comprises The Apology, The Store, The Pile, Getting In, The Argument, and Come Away, Come Away; play productions: I Know You (1944); Who’s Who (1949); Sunshine Town (1955); The Optimist (1956); The Ottawa Man (1961); Louis Riel (1967); Johnny Belinda (1968); Abracadabra (1979); Love and Politics (1979); Fauntleroy (1980); and A Christmas Carol (1988); and numerous television and radio scripts and productions. His memoirs, Reinventing Myself, were published in 1994.

The fonds consists of: manuscripts (1927-1994) of works written, translated or adapted by Moore, including typescripts and drafts for radio plays: Ottawa Man (1960 CBC Radio), Three Enigmas (1969-1970), The Store (1972); typescripts and drafts for television both by Moore and by others: Getting In (1971), Catch My Death, Crime Lab; scripts of adaptations from literary works: The Fall (Camus), To Tell the Truth (Morley Callaghan), Yesterday the Children Were Dancing (Gratien Gelinas, trans. by Moore); files and manuscripts for Moore’s memoirs Reinventing Myself, and a plethora of notes and production documents for Moore’s other works; personal files (1920-1994) of Moore’s family correspondence and photographs as well as his general correspondence with BMI Canada Limited, Canadian Conference of the Arts, National Film Board, Stratford Festival, and numerous theatre programs; categorized subject files that include: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (1949-1973), New Play Society (1947-1961), Spring Thaw (1955-1965), Mavor Moore Productions (1952-1973), Charlottetown Festival (1964-1974), Canada Council (1974-1983), and York University (1957-1983), all of which contain pertinent correspondence, minutes, reports, contracts, financial records, and art works; printed materials (1918-1994) of short stories, plays, adaptations by Canadian authors including Earle Birney, Ted Allan, Harry J. Boyle, Robertson Davies, and others; and audio-visual material (1982-1995) of convocations, programmes, interviews, etc. on video-cassette.

Finding aid available.

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Inventory number: F0359