Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

A new(ish) term has become part of the vernacular in the past few years for anyone who isn’t an Indigenous person in Canada: the Settler Canadian. I count among them, and as Settler Canadians, we all have some kind of immigration story;  those who came before Canada was a country, and some who docked long after that.    

Whether it was inspired by fear or by hope, you can be guaranteed that there was a fairly dramatic tale to accompany the move. Hannah Moscovitch’s retelling of her own family’s true saga of starting over has resounded around the world – this time leaving behind only cheering audiences and four-star reviews.

If your family has an immigration story, I hope this beautiful tale from Halifax inspires you to reflect on what it was that brought you here, and what it was that made you stay.

Playwright’s Notes

The text in this project is the story of my paternal family. When there have been gaps in my knowledge of actual events, I have taken artistic liberties. For instance, I do not know the full story of how my great-grandfather Chaim Moscovitch’s family died in Romania. And because I have often been working with incomplete information, I have discovered over the course of this project that I have parts of my family’s history wrong. In two instances, I decided to leave my inaccuracies in the text. I originally thought that Chaya was older than Chaim; I later found out from a census that they were in fact the same age. And I believed that Sam Moscovitch, my grandfather, was the oldest child in the family. He was in fact the second child: his sister Mary (Michal) Moscovitch was the firstborn.


Songs

Songs written by Ben Caplan and Christian Barry except where indicated.

Traveller’s Curse (written by Geoff Berner)

You’ve Arrived

Truth Doesn’t Live in a Book

The Happy People (written by Danny Rubenstein)

Minimum Intervals

Plough the Shit

Lullaby

Fledgling

What Love Can Heartbreak Allow

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You can listen to the Old Stock soundtrack on Spotify.

About 2b theatre company

2b is a Halifax-based, internationally-acclaimed theatre company creating works for the regional, national and international stages. Artistic Co-Directors Christian Barry and Anthony Black share a commitment to create, develop and produce new work that is distinguished by innovation in staging, polish in design and virtuosity in performance.

2b would like to thank Andrew Cull, Taryn Kawaja, Kathryn McCormack, Ryan Parker, Vanessa Sabourin and Jeff Schwager for their participation in the workshopping and development of this project.

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2b theatre company

Artistic Co-Directors 
Anthony Black and Christian Barry

Managing Director
Colleen MacIsaac

Managing Producer
Karen Gross

Director of Touring
Rebecca Desmarais

Director of Production
Louisa Adamson

Office and Communications Manager
Chelsea Dickie  

Development Coordinator
Lianne Perry

Playwright-in-Residence
Shauntay Grant

RBC Emerging Artist-in-Residence
David Walker

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2b engages consultants through Strategic Arts Management. 2b is represented by touring agent Menno Plukker | Menno Plukker Theatre Agent Inc.

2b theatre company receives operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Nova Scotia and the City of Halifax.

Thanks to the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for their support of this show and of arts and culture in Nova Scotia.

2b theatre company is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and engages, under the terms of the Canadian Theatre Agreement, professional artists who are members of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Notes on Pogroms

Pogrom is a Russian word meaning to wreak havoc and destroy violently. The word is most commonly used to reference brutal attacks on Jewish people between 1881–1921 in Russia and Eastern Europe. These mob attacks wiped out entire Jewish communities. As the pogroms became more frequent, millions of Jews were forced to leave their homes in search of safety. The Holocaust is often referred to as “The Last Pogrom.”

By WWI, Canada’s Jewish population was over 100,000. While Canada was a new home, many Jewish refugees were met with antisemitism and continued marginalization.

Over the next 100 years, Canada would accept thousands of refugees escaping war and persecution from places such as Hungary, Chile, Uganda, Vietnam, and the former Yugoslavia.

Today, Canada is settling refugees from conflict zones including the Middle East and North Africa. Unfortunately, Islamophobia and xenophobic attitudes are still alive and well in Canada making the transition even more difficult for refugees from these areas.

If you would like to dig deeper, here is a list of resources.

Local resources

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization envisions Ottawa as an inclusive city in which all immigrants contribute their gifts, skills, values and culture; strengthening and transforming our community life.

Jewish Family Services of Ottawa offers services which cater to newcomers from various cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, in Hebrew, Russian, French, Somali, Arabic and Chinese, and is affiliated with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services of Canada, the oldest chartered not-for-profit settlement organization in Canada.

Immigrant Women Services Ottawa is a community-based agency serving immigrant and visible minority women. We create opportunities for women as they integrate into a new society, rebuild their lives free of violence, and achieve their personal goals.

Refugee 613 is an agile and innovative communications hub that informs, connects and inspires people to welcome refugees and build strong communities.

Capital Rainbow Refuge is an Ottawa-based organization committed to providing safe haven to LGBTQ sexual and gender minority refugees fleeing dangerous situations.

Other charities

United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) coordinates UN refugee responses, including support for host countries providing assistance for refugees.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an intergovernmental organization which provides services and support to governments and migrants.

Unicef Canada: The United Nations Children’s Fund is a child-focused humanitarian organization operating in 192 countries.

Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières, operates medical facilities inside countries like Syria and supports more than 100 clinics, health posts and field hospitals in the country.

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working around the world to find solutions to poverty and support human rights.

Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization with a focus on human rights.

Canadian Red Cross is part of the international humanitarian organization Red Cross/Red Crescent. The Canadian Red Cross is helping to support the efforts of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Syria.


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