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Blood of Our Soil

by Lianna Makuch

Inspired by personal accounts from war-torn Ukraine in 1944 and true stories from the country’s current conflict.

After generations of conflict, a new crisis opens old wounds.

Photo by Mat Simpson.

Blood of Our Soil packs a punch. – Amy Strizic, My Entertainment World

Hania’s Baba has a secret. A secret she’s bringing with her to her grave.

Since moving into the Long-Term Care Centre, her grandmother has been restless. Agitated. Something from her past is haunting her. She urges Hania to return to their Ukrainian homeland to seek out a missing piece of their family history.

Hania’s search for answers brings her to the edge of the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine. Here she meets the people and sees the places touched by war, and finally confronts the truths of her Baba’s past. Blood of Our Soil tells a personal story of war and trauma that spans generations.

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. – Karen Fricker, Toronto Star

The play is inspired by the experiences of the playwright’s grandparents who fled Ukraine during WWII, and the true accounts of people interviewed in conflict zones in Eastern Ukraine. Raising awareness of the ongoing war, Blood of Our Soil depicts the struggles of the Ukrainian people against the atrocities of Stalin to the horrors of Hitler, while drawing disturbing parallels to the current Putin regime.

Toronto Premiere. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Blood of Our Soil gives voice to the people whose lives have been affected by the frozen conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Europe’s current “forgotten war,” where current Russian aggression has killed more than 10,000 people, and displaced millions.

Tightly written, beautifully designed, skillfully performed. It’s well worth your time to pick up the pieces.

– Ilana Lucas, Mooney on Theatre.

Stay tuned for more information on our Canadian National tour. If you would like to support this endeavour, please visit or GoFundMe page on more information on how to donate. Tax Receipts are available.

Read more Media for Blood of Our Soil

Blood of Our Soil by Lianna Makuch. Edmonton, March 2018. © Marc J Chalifoux Photography 2017

PRODUCTION HISTORY

Toronto Premiere. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Toronto Premiere

March 7 – 16, 2019 

Title Sponsor:

Tarragon Theatre’s Extraspace 

In March 2019, Blood of Our Soil premiered at the Tarragon Theatre, receiving high acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The majority of performances sold out days in advance, and we received standing ovations and emotional responses from our audiences.

The Toronto premiere was generously supported by:

Canada Council for the Arts, Shevchenko Foundation of Canada War Veterans Fund, Temerty Foundation, BCU Foundation, Huculak Foundation, SUS Foundation, Ukrainian Credit Union, Franko Family Foundation, Prometheus Stefan Onyszczuk and Stefania Szwed Foundation, Olzhych Foundation, Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta, Alberta Ukrainian Commemorative Society, and St. Vladimir’s Institute.

Written by Lianna Makuch || Direction by Patrick Lundeen || Dramaturgy by Matthew MacKenzie || Stage Management by Lore Green || Production Design by Stephanie Bahniuk || Sound & Projection Design by Nicholas Mayne || Music Direction by Larissa Pohoreski || Production Management by Trent Crosby || Featuring Oscar Derkx, Mawell Lebeuf, Lisa Norton, Lianna Makuch, Tanya Pacholok, Larissa Pohoreski

 

Blood of Our Soil by Lianna Makuch. Edmonton, March 2018. © Marc J Chalifoux Photography 2017

Edmonton Premiere

March 1 – 10, 2018

Westbury Theatre at the Fringe Theatre Adventures

In March 2018, Pyretic Productions and St. John’s institute presented the first iteration of Blood of Our Soil in Edmonton. The performance was received with high acclaim from Edmonton’s Ukrainian community, arts community, and media. The production sold out and garnered four Sterling nominations including best new play and independent production.

Written by Lianna Makuch || Direction by Patrick Lundeen || Dramaturgy by Matthew MacKenzie || Stage Management by Lore Green || Production Design by Stephanie Bahniuk || Sound & Projection Design by Nicholas Mayne || Music Direction by Larissa Pohoreski || Production Management by Trent Crosby || Featuring Oscar Derkx, Mawell Lebeuf, Julia Guy, Lianna Makuch, Tanya Pacholok, Larissa Pohoreski

The Edmonton premiere was generously supported by:

Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Community Initiatives Program, The Edmonton Community Foundation, The Shevchenko Foundation, Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta, Alberta Ukrainian Commemorative Society.

Accolades for Blood of Our Soil

ACUA-URDC Award 2018 (Alberta Council for Ukrainian Arts – Ukrainian Research and Development Centre)

Rena Hanchuk & Yaroslav Kitynskyy Artist Award 2018

Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards: Nominated in four categories

• Outstanding Independent Production

• Outstanding New Play

• Outstanding Multi-Media Design

• Outstanding Score of a Play or Musical

“[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


Continued Development In Ukraine with Wild Theatre

Pyretic Productions travelled to Kyiv, Ukraine on an exciting creative cultural exchange with the Ukrainian theatre company, Wild Theatre. Here, we continued the development of our new script, Blood of Our Soil by Lianna Makuch, and presented a staged reading to a sold out audience of Ukrainian artists, veterans, social activists, and the general public.

Photo by Oleksii Tovpyha

 

READ MORE ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT TRIP HERE.

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