Moore, Dora Mavor

Dora Mavor Moore, actress, teacher (b at Glasgow, Scot 8 Apr 1888; d at Toronto 15 May 1979). After studying elocution at Toronto's Margaret Eaton School of Expression, she became the first Canadian to graduate from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She made her professional debut in 1912 in Ottawa, with the Colonial Stock Co., and then joined Ben Greet's Pastoral Players in New York, performing Shakespeare on their CHAUTAUQUA tours. She was with Greet again in 1918, playing Viola in Twelfth Night at London's "Old Vic." Returning to Toronto to raise 3 sons, she plunged into teaching and directing amateurs. In 1938 she founded the Village Players which toured Shakespeare to schools. It was the prototype for her nonprofit, professional New Play Society which played 10 seasons (1946-56) and produced 72 plays, 47 of which were original. As well as its annual satiric revue Spring Thaw, which delighted audiences for 25 years (1948-73), the NPS ran a theatre school (1950-68) which survived the demise of the producing company. Moore was instrumental in bringing Tyrone GUTHRIE to the STRATFORD FESTIVAL. Toronto's annual theatre awards have been named in her honour.