Blood of Our Soil
by Lianna Makuch
March 1-9, 2018
Westbury Theatre (10330 – 84 Ave)
Tickets available soon.
Baba has a secret.
A secret she is bringing with her to her grave.
But, from a woman who’s lived at least three lifetimes, I’m sure she doesn’t have just one.
Blood of Our Soil tells the story of Hania, a second generation Ukrainian Canadian. As she reflects on fond memories of summers spent with her beloved Baba, a chance discovery allows her to gain new insights about her grandmother’s struggles during WWII. Hania is compelled to gain a deeper understanding of both her personal and cultural history. She travels to her ancestral Ukrainian homeland, exploring both its beauty and its traumas. However, Hania is not prepared for what she discovers as she learns of the devastating impact the current conflict has had in Eastern Ukraine.
Blood of Our Soil is unique creative production presented through the imagination of a young Ukrainian Canadian woman, depicting the struggles of the Ukrainian people against the atrocities of Stalin, to the horrors of Hitler, and draws disturbing parallels to the current Putin regime. Innovative in its storytelling, Blood of Our Soil integrates dramatic storytelling, live Ukrainian folk music, a fusion of Ukrainian and contemporary dance, and an audio-visual projection design that paints a landscape of both beauty and terror.
The play is inspired by true historic journal entries and accounts of the playwright’s grandmothers (Babas) both of whom were born in Ukraine in the 1920s and immigrated to Canada after the 2nd World War. And a recent trip to Ukraine, where the playwright visited the ancestral villages of her grandparents, and conducted extensive research in Eastern Ukraine, where current Russian aggression has sparked a war that has killed more than 10,000 people, and displaced millions.
Blood of Our Soil is a heart-rending comparison of the Ukrainian Canadian experience to true stories of people living in present day war-torn Ukraine.
Direction by Patrick Lundeen
Movement Direction by Alida Kendell
Stage Management by Lore Green
Production Design by Stephanie Bahniuk
Music Direction by Larissa Pohoreski
Projection/Sound Design by Nicholas Mayne
Dramaturgy by Matthew MacKenzie
Featuring Lianna Makuch, Oscar Derkx, Julia Guy, Maxwell Lebeuf
“[Blood of Our Soil] is the most powerful presentation that I have seen of the long history of travesties that the people of Ukraine have suffered from the time of Stalin through Hitler and now under Putin.”
– Linda Duncan, MP Edmonton-Strathcona, House of Commons March 20,2017
Blood of Our Soil is a co-presentation with St. John’s Institute:
St. John’s Institute fosters a stronger Ukrainian heritage and Canadian community by producing educational, spiritual, cultural, and outreach programs for youth and community members. We support the community by providing excellent affordable housing close to campus and downtown, and by helping to promote the city’s arts and cultural scene.
Thank you to our Funders