Iain Moggach has taken Theatre by the Bay to award-winning new heights since he became artistic director last fall. The theatre company has won the most awards in its history.
“We’ve won virtually every award we applied for, submitted ourselves for and as far as I know we’re the only arts organization that has received awards in such a huge range of fields all at the same time,” said Moggach, who also was recognized with a Barrie Heritage Award. “We thought we’d put our hat in the running because of all the local history productions we’ve done.”
He credits Alex Dault, TBTB’s previous artistic director for setting the stage for a new direction that centered on local historical stories. One of the new shows, the Nine Mile Portage, brought Moggach to Barrie for the first time. As the inaugural participant of TBTB’s Indie Producer’s Co-Op, he worked on production and marketing for the show and it paved the way for Moggach to join the theatre company in an administrative capacity and move to Barrie in 2015.
TBTB was also voted the ‘Most Innovative Not-for-Profit/Social Enterprise’ at the Mayor’s Innovation Awards and Moggach picked up Young Professional of the Year at the Barrie Business Awards, and Tourism Champion at the Barrie Toast to Tourism Awards, among others.
It’s all part of a strategy to take the theatre company into the future. While the 2019 season was already set when Moggach became artistic director, his plans for 2020 will be revealed in the new year.
In addition to the shows, he hopes to expand programming, educational opportunities, and grant funding. More administrative initiatives are in the works including increasing membership and volunteer opportunities and creating a five-year plan for the theatre company.
“The first year was about learning the ropes. Even though I was familiar with what Alex did it’s entirely different to learn how to do it,” he said. “Personally, I feel like I know what I’m doing more and know what TBTB needs and what the community needs to be stronger and think this year will start to implement those things and hopefully people will get excited about it too.”
Moggach has been interested in theatre since he was in Kindergarten. At the age of 11, he landed the part of Prince Author in a Shakespeare play, King John. He was in England at the time, with his father, a professor who was on sabbatical.
“I lived in England for a brief time and auditioned for the university show, got in, and it changed my life completely,” he recalled. “It suddenly turned from something I was interested in to I’m going to be in theatre forever.”
Born and raised in Ottawa, Moggach went to an arts high school, studied history at the post-secondary level and met his future (now wife) Marissa Caldwell working at the university’s theatre company. A theatre program at George Brown College followed. After graduating Moggach started with the Indie Producer’s Co-Op, one of two education-oriented programs TBTB runs. Along the way, he produced 11 shows, and directed several and this summer, he will direct one for TBTB.