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Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Hannah Moscovitch
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 66
Pub. Date: 2020
ISBN-10: 0573707804
ISBN-13: 9780573707803

About the Play:

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is a full-length musical drama by Hannah Moscovitch (playwright), with music co-written by Christian Barry (singer-songwriter-actor) and Ben Caplan (director) who co-created the show to explore what the phrase 'old stock' really means in a country founded by immigration. The play is inspired by the true stories of two Jewish Romanian refugees coming to Canada in 1908 to start a new life. Dark and hilarious, Old Stock is a genre-bending folk tale, woven together in a concert of brash, rollicking, joyful Klezmer Folk music.

Old Stock tells the story of two young Jewish refugees – Chaim and Chaya – who flee Romania and meet as asylum seekers in Canada in 1908. Fresh off the boat at Pier 21 in Halifax – once Canada's equivalent of America's Ellis Island – the two meet when he's 19 and she's 24. They each carry deep scars from the anti-Semitism that drove them from their home but manage to work out a marriage that grows in strength as they carve out a life for themselves in Montreal. Inspired by the true story of writer Hannah Moscovitch's own paternal great-grandparents, who fled religious persecution and the "pogroms" (large-scale wave of anti-Jewish riots) that swept through Romania, this humourously dark folktale is elevated by original Yiddish Klezmer and traditional folk-music and songs, weaving through a poignant journey of finding love after being broken by the horrors of war. Taking a divisive comment by a Canadian politician as a starting point, Old Stock is an invigorating if none too subtle reminder of the often bloody sacrifice made by refugees.

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story premiered in 2017 by 2b Theatre in Halifax to rave reviews, earning seven Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards, including Outstanding Production. The play garnered four-star reviews when it opened later in 2017 at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, winning a Herald Angel Award and Edinburgh Fringe First. The show's seven-week off-Broadway run at 59E59 Theaters in 2018 garnered it nominations for six Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical, and Critics picks from both The New York Times and Time Out New York. Since then it has since been performed to great critical acclaim throughout Canada, in the US, across the UK, in Australia and Holland, receiving many awards and accolades along the way.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men

What people say:

"The Old Stock experience becomes irresistible, borne along on a tide of brilliant klezmer music and original song that links us to an old world, and helps us to live joyfully in a new one." — The Scotsman

"Moving between a comic courtship and the everyday hardships ... conjuring up a much bigger picture of how the world was built on immigration ... in an entertaining and heart-warming fashion makes for a thing of raw and unmissable beauty." — The Herald

"Richly humorous, wildly entertaining and deeply moving." — The Globe and Mail

"A work of mingled genres and strong flavors… mixes bitter herbs with apples and honey." — The New York Times

"Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is a Jewish musical along the same lines as Fidlder on the Roof, but here's the difference. It has a happy ending. ...The other difference is that the storyline is completely true... It is a pity the show does not have a longer run. Maybe it is not Fiddler but the underlying theme is the same." — The Jewish Weekly (UK)

About the Playwright:

Hannah Moscovitch is an acclaimed Canadian playwright and TV writer. Her plays have been widely produced across Canada, as well as in the United States, Britain, Europe, Australia and Japan. She has been honoured with numerous awards, including the Governor General's Literary Award for drama (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), and the prestigious Windham Campbell Literary Prize administered by Yale University (she is the first Canadian playwright to win the prize). She's twice been a finalist for the Governor General's Award, and twice for the Siminovitch Prize, as well as the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide.