A romance born in theatre
Hannah Moscovitch on meeting her husband at the Tarragon
Hannah Moscovitch is making some noise as one of the top playwrights in Canada. Her play What a Young Wife Ought to Know is on at Streetcar Crowsnest until April 7. Simultaneously, the show she created with her husband Christian Barry, Old Stock, is on a seven-week run off-Broadway in New York City. This is not the first time the pair has worked together — Barry also directs What a Young Wife Ought to Know, and the pair’s love story is rooted in theatre.
How they met
Christian: We saw and admired each other’s work before we met, so it started as a professional crush between artists. I saw a project of Hannah’s called The Russian Play (I later directed a production of the piece), and Hannah saw a piece of mine called Revisited. We met at Tarragon Theatre. Hannah was in the Playwright’s Unit, and I was the Urjo Kareda Artist in Residence. I kept asking Hannah if she’d like help with her latest play and signing my emails with an “xo.”
The first date
Christian: Our first official date was to an event at Tarragon Theatre! We finally admitted that the series of professional meetings we’d had were actually dates.
Hannah: Most memorably, at the four-month mark in our relationship, Christian told me he was moving back to Nova Scotia. So I assumed that would be the end of our relationship, which made him cry. That clinched it somehow and I eventually moved to Halifax.
Hannah: It was on Mont Royal in Montreal. Christian told me he wanted to spend his life with me. He had a toy ring in his hand. We called our parents right after, who said, “Super!” The next day we went to an antique ring shop and picked out a ring from the 1880s that I love.
Hannah: We got married in our backyard with flowers, champagne, chocolate cake, our son Elijah, who was one, and a few very dear friends and family members. We decided at noon we were going to do it, and got married at 6 p.m. that evening. We didn’t go on a honeymoon.
Hannah: We have our son, Elijah. He is named after the prophet. He is two and a half years old.
Balancing it all
Hannah: We don’t. It’s chaos.
Secret of success
Hannah: Mutual admiration, jokes, a willingness to back down and an unwillingness to back down. A desire on both our parts for communication and selfimprovement. Respect for each other’s emotions and dreams. A similarity in the way we see the world: that love comes first.
Hannah: Our shared hobby is that we don’t have hobbies or interests. Sometimes Christian plays pond hockey. That’s about it. The main thing is we both have careers in the theatre, so our shared interest is our work.
Hannah: When we are in Halifax, we live in the north end. Here in Toronto, we call King West home.
Life after retirement
Hannah: We’re not the retiring type. Maybe a house by the sea? It’s hard to plan beyond the sixmonth mark at this point. We have a toddler. Sometimes it’s hard to plan beyond the 45minute mark.
Hannah Moscovitch, Christian Barry and their son Elijah at their backyard wedding