Biography

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Anton Piatigorsky is an award-winning writer of fiction, plays and librettos.The Iron Bridge, his first work of fiction, is a collection of short stories about 20th Century dictators as teenagers, and was named a runner up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award.

As a playwright, Anton is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore awards for best new play, the Summerworks Prize, the 2005 Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Protégé Award for playwrighting, and numerous other nominations.

Eternal Hydra, commissioned by the Stratford Festival for its 50th anniversary, inaugurated the festival’s Studio Theatre in 2002. An expanded version of the play was produced in 2009 and 2011, winning four Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Reviewers called it “one of the best Canadian plays of the past decade” (Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine), and a “work [that] must be considered part of the canon of great Canadian plays.” (Christopher Hoile, Eye Weekly).

Other plays include The Kabbalistic Psychoanalysis of Adam R. Tzaddik, Mysterium Tremendum, The Offering, Breath in Between, and Easy Lenny Lazmon and the Great Western Ascension, which won 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards in 1999. His plays have traveled across Canada, the United States and Austrailia. He has received commissions and residencies from the Stratford Festival,  Soulpepper Theatre Company and other companies. His new adaptation of  S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk premiered at Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto in May, 2015 to rave reviews.

Piatigorsky’s libretti for Airline Icarus and Inventory, two chamber operas with music by composer Brian Current, were featured at the VOX festival of the New York City Opera, in 2007 and 2010. Winner of the Italian Primo Fedora Award in 2011, Airline Icarus was produced by Soundstreams in Toronto, and by Atelier la Voce dell’Arte in Verbania, Italy. It has received concert productions by Tapesty New Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. The Naxos recording of Airline Icarus won a Juno Award for Best Classical Composition in 2015.

Born and raised in the Washington DC area, Anton studied religion and theatre at Brown University. He is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, and lives in Toronto.

Photo credit: Greg Pacek

Praise for...

The Iron Bridge “To fictionalize and dramatize scenes from the early lives of history’s most infamous tyrants and practitioners of genocide is a unique and boldly challenging premise, and Piatigorsky succeeds against all odds. These complex and fascinating portraits illuminate while offering no excuses, no justification for crimes later committed. That these monsters-to-be are given such convincing humanity is a testament to Piatigorsky’s delicate craft, his patience and subtle creativity with the historical material at hand, and insight into the darkest possibilities of the human mind.” —Bill Gaston, Alexander MacLeod, and Carol Malyon, Danuta Gleed Award Jury

Praise for...

Eternal Hydra "It isn’t an exaggeration to state that Piatigorsky’s fascinating script is one of the very best new Canadian plays in decades…. Chock-a-block though it may be with intriguing ideas, it’s quite funny at times, and straightforward and swiftly moving." —Steve Fisher, Torontoist.com