This one goes out to all the strong female characters
An interview with Hannah Moscovitch on Bunny
Hannah Moscovitch’s Bunny boasts the extraordinary character of Sorrel, a young woman who revels in the power of her sexual desires. Her portrayal is frank, real, and addictive. And paired with her best friend Maggie amongst the trail of her lovers, Sorrel can shed her inhibitions and be more truly herself. Here, Hannah Moscovitch explains a little bit more about the play’s purpose, and gives us a look at what she’s up to right now.
Bunny tackles Victorian literary tropes, giving the woman her own control rather than waiting around for a man to handle the rest of her life. What inspired you to use this for a story?
Victorian tropes are still overwhelmingly the ones we use when writing women. When we have a heroine, we tend to give her a choice between two male characters as love interests, and who a woman chooses to marry determines if she is a good or bad person. So a heroine's journey and moral character is determined by the man she’s sexually associated with. I’m pretty over that trope, so I decided to subvert it.
What is it about Bunny and Maggie’s friendship that is so special?
It’s an authentic friendship between women. It’s an unconditionally supportive friendship, rather than a competitive one or bullying one. This friendship is much like most of my friendships with women.
There is a hunger and need in Canadian theatre for more stories about strong female characters like Sorrel. What advice could you give to other playwrights about writing such characters?
The dramatic writing cannon is overwhelmingly authored by men, mostly I think because playwrights are more of the world than novelists, and women playwrights can’t disguise themselves with male names on manuscripts – playwrights interact with actors and producers and other theatre professionals. I don’t think there’s any advice to offer, other than to do it. Aside from my politics about only hearing one type of story, from one type of person, being generally shitty, I also think it’s still original in the theatre when women are written authentically, and who don’t only come onstage to serve the stories of male characters. And theatre audiences are female heavy, demographically, so there’s an appetite for it.
What are you reading these days?
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (a novel), Revolt She Said, Revolt Again by Alice Birch (a play), and Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui (by The Globe and Mail’s national food reporter). All three are fabulous.
What’s next for you?
I’m developing TV shows with Temple Street and Rezolution Films, I have unannounced film and opera projects that I’m drafting, and I have play commissions with Tarragon Theatre (Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes), Prairie Theatre Exchange (Post-Democracy), and 2b theatre (working title: Red Like Fruit). I’m also working with Alisa Palmer and Reza Jacobs on the adaptation of Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald into a three-part eight-hour piece of music-driven theatre.
Read an excerpt of Bunny – that moment when Sorrel and Maggie meet!
Want more? Get your copy of Bunny now.