Award-winning playwright, actor, director, and UWinnipeg alum Daniel Thau-Eleff is receiving the 2018 Manitoba Human Rights Commitment Award for his work in addressing challenging issues regarding justice and human rights through theatre. Thau-Eleff is the founder of Moving Target, a Winnipeg-based theatre company with a reputation for innovative, original, and personal/political theatre. He will be given the award at a ceremony on Monday, December 10.
Through his work, he often tackles complex issues around family, relationships, sex, morality, social issues, gender identity, and inclusion.
One of his nominators, UWinnipeg’s Dr. Dean Peachey of Global College, is very familiar with his work.
“His dogged commitment to advancing social justice and human rights in the midst such challenges exemplifies the spirit of the Human Rights Commitment Award,” said Peachey. “I have been inspired and challenged by Daniel’s work; I have laughed and wept at his plays, and been enormously impressed his ability to engage in difficult conversations with an open heart and a warm smile.”
As a human rights activist, Thau-Eleff appreciates the honour. “I really feel that this award doesn’t just go to me, it goes to all of my teachers, mentors, co-creators, supporters – to everyone who has made my work over the years possible and meaningful.”
In 2003, Thau-Eleff graduated with a BA (Hons) in Theatre and Drama.
“UWinnipeg launched me onto my career as an artist and activist,” shares Thau-Eleff. “I had the great privilege to study with Reg Skene, the founder of the Theatre Department. Reg (may he rest in peace) and all of my teachers at UWinnipeg instilled in me the artistic curiosity and the foundational skills I would need to pursue these explorations, in the rehearsal hall and onstage.”
Thau-Eleff is also the artistic producer of the Moving Target Theatre Company. Thau-Eleff’s personal-political plays explore themes of human rights, peace, and social justice through individual struggles, mixing documentary elements into fiction.
His play repertoire includes Deserter, Good People Bad Things, King’s Park, Remember the Night, and Three Ring Circus: Israel, the Palestinians and My Jewish Identity. Thau-Eleff is the two-time winner of the Harry S Rintoul Award for best new Manitoba play in the Winnipeg Fringe.
Thau-Eleff has performed his work across Canada and parts of the United States, including at Toronto’s SummerWorks, Canada’s largest juried performing arts festival, Impact International Performing Arts Festival (Kitchener-Waterloo), Prismatic Festival (Halifax), Chutzpah! Fest (Vancouver), Fringe NYC, and other Fringe Festivals and conferences.
He has led over 30 issue-based community workshops in Theatre for Living with participants ranging from youth at the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival to City of Winnipeg decision makers at the Future of Crime Prevention Through Social Development Conference. For more, see MovingTargetTheatre.com.