Young Alumni Achievement Award

About the Meraki Kudos Young Alumni Achievement Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize young alumni of the University of King’s College who have achieved significant accomplishments via their professions, volunteer work, or other endeavours. All alumni of the university under the age of 35 are eligible to be nominated for this award.

2020 Recipient: Hannah Rittner

Read more about Hannah Rittner on King’s Community. Photo credit: Justine Nelson

Hannah Rittner’s, BA(Hons)’11 list of accomplishments, as a playwright just keeps getting longer. Such notable institutions as The Stratford Festival, Nightwood Theatre and NYU’s Musical Theatre Department have developed her work. She was one of eight playwrights chosen from across the country for the prestigious Playwrights Retreat where she began work on a four-act play about Sarah Bernhardt.

In 2016, Hannah launched LACE Productions with her play The Unbelievers. It was the first live production to tackle the torture, the sexual slavery and the sheer ugliness of the Yazidi genocide in northern Iraq by ISIS. Her research and advocacy on behalf of the Yazidi community brought her into the sphere of activist Nadia Murad. Nadia won the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy 2018.

Recently, Hannah’s play Elijah was given top prize in the 2019 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition. Hannah says, “It’s a really intimate, mystical, magical story about a family and about becoming your own hero.”

While Hannah is proud of all she has done, the Meraki Kudos award has special meaning. “Meraki” is a Greek word used to describe someone “doing something with soul, creativity or love”. Hannah says the award means a lot.

“It’s the only way I know how to be. It feels so wonderful that this award is shaped around that. I got the call on one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. Perhaps the heartbreak I experienced just hours before, allowed me to let the beauty of this recognition sink even deeper. I am so grateful and so moved.”