The Blyth Festival announced that, in partnership with Pyretic Productions, on Thursday, March 10, it will be presenting an online reading of “Barvinok.”
Edmonton-based playwright Lianna Makuch’s drama “Barvinok”
is about a woman sent to Ukraine to seek out a missing piece of her family history.
“Barvinok” tells a personal story of war and intergenerational trauma. “The play Ms. Makuch and Pyretic have created is extraordinary,” says the Blyth Festival’s artistic director Gil Garratt.
“They built the script through grassroots, immersive story building, travelling to Ukraine over and over for years, gathering interviews and insights. These artists have tried to hold the heart of Ukraine in their hands and share it. We are all richer for it.”
The online reading will help to raise humanitarian funds for Ukraine.
Lianna Makuch is a second-generation Ukrainian Canadian Theatre Artist. She is the playwright and principal performer in “Barvinok,” which has garnered her awards and recognition from across the country and internationally.
Originally produced by Pyretic Productions in association with Punctuate! Theatre in Edmonton in 2018, the production garnered four Sterling Award nominations. In March of 2019 it premiered at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre; plans for a national tour were scuttled by Covid19.
“Barvinok” is a two act play directed by Patrick Lundeen, and starring Lianna Makuch, Mariya Khomutova, Andrew Kushnir, Maxwell Lebeuf, Tanya Pacholok and Christina Nguyen.
Reviewing the Toronto production in 2019, Karen Fricker, of the Toronto Star wrote:
“Makuch, Lundeen and Mackenzie have done a remarkable job of creating a theatrical experience that ties together a heritage journey with thoughtful commentary on a place tragically caught up in cycles of oppression and violence.”
During the pre-recorded event on March 10, links to donate to the Red Cross and the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation groups will be featured on Blyth Festival social media channels and the Blyth Festival website.
Following the fundraising event, the recording will be available on the Blyth Festival YouTube channel for the next month.
Read more about the history of “Barvinok” and Pyretic Productions’ trip to Ukraine when he company ventured within just 5km of the frontline where they interviewed dozens of people affected by the ongoing war: pyreticproductions.ca