Until I did some research this morning, I’d always been confused about the naming of the Dora Mavor Moore awards. My friend Laurence received one in 1998. And my friend Bill’s piece Zorro was once nominated for one.
There were two phrases that Mrs Moore was fond of saying, and they seem to reflect her own deepest nature and philosophy. To her, ‘The greatest souls are the simplest’. She applied it to Tyrone Guthrie, and somehow, in her own long and highly pressured career she, too, managed to preserve the purity and shining integrity of the young at heart. It is perhaps how she maintained her uncommon rapport with children.
And again, on a CBC Project 65 broadcast, I remember hearing her say, ‘Life is greater than art. We use art to perfect our life’. Today, ten days after her death, when her magnificent ninety-one years of life are over (seventy of them spent in the theatre of Canada), we fondly remember both the life and the art. To the living, life is, of course, most important; but after death it is surprising how one’s art lives on, even in that most ephemeral of the arts, the theatre.
That last sentence would, of course, apply equally well to her talented son.