Wajdi Mouawad was born in Lebanon in 1968. Mouawad fled the war-torn country with his family; they lived in Paris for a few years, then settled in Montreal. In 1991, shortly after graduating from the National Theatre School, he embarked on a career as an actor, writer, director, and producer. In all his work, from his own plays—a dozen so far, including Journée de noces chez les Cromagnons (Wedding Day at the Cro-Magnons'), Littoral (Tideline), and Incendies (Scorched— which served as the basis for the Academy Award nominated film Incendies)—Wajdi Mouawad is guided by the central notion that "all art bears witness to human existence through the prism of beauty." From 2000–2004 he was the artistic director of Montreal's Théâtre de Quat'Sous; in 2005 he founded two companies specializing in the development of new work: Abé carré cé carré in Canada (with Emmanuel Schwartz), and Au carré de l'hypoténuse in France. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours for his writing and directing, including the 2000 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama (Littoral), the 2002 Chevalier de l'Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres (France) and the 2004 Prix de la Francophonie. He is currently Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre French Theatre.