Wajdi Mouawad is a Lebanese-Canadian writer, actor, and director best known for his work in the Canadian and French theatre. Born in Lebanon, Mouawad’s family left when he was eight due to the escalating violence of the Lebanese Civil War.
His career took off in 1998 when his involvement with theater productions at four major theaters in Quebec led to acclaim by the Festival de théâtre francophone de Limoges (France). The same year he also received the Quebec Critics’ Circle Award for his production of his own play Willy Protagoras. And in May, 1999, he was named as the new artistic director for the Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal, serving from January, 2000 until 2004, and promising patrons of the house then-upcoming seasons of “ethics, ideas, symbols, morality and philosophy.”
The 2011 Canadian film Incendies (meaning scorched) was based on his play of the same name (and it’s my favorite film!) and was also nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film in 2012. Although the story takes place in an unnamed country, it’s based on events that transpired during the Lebanese Civil War, with a signifcant portion of the plot based specifically on the life of Souha Bechara, a Lebanese woman who attempted to assassinate General Antoine Lahad of the South Lebanon Army in 1988.
Mouawad was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Literature for drama in 2000 and in 2002, the French Government bestowed upon him the title of Knight of the Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres for the collection of his works. In 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada “for his contributions as a writer, actor, stage director and playwright known internationally for the quality and scope of his theatrical creations.”
For further insights into Incendies specifically, check out the following link