Blood of Our Soil
by Lianna Makuch
UPCOMING: Toronto Premiere
MARCH 7-16, 2019
Tarragon Theatre’s Extraspace (30 Bridgman Ave)
After generations of conflict, a new crisis opens old wounds.
Inspired by personal accounts from war-torn Ukraine in 1944 and true stories from the country’s current conflict.
Blood of Our Soil tells the story of Hania, a Ukrainian Canadian woman, as she reflects on fond memories of summers spent with her beloved Baba. A chance discovery allows her to gain new insights about her Baba’s struggles during WWII and Hania is compelled to gain a deeper understanding of both her personal and cultural history. In failing health, Hania’s Baba (grandmother) urges Hania to travel to her Ukrainian homeland to seek out a missing piece of their family’s history. Hania is not prepared for what she discovers as she learns the truths of her Baba’s past and the harsh realities of today’s conflict.
How can our land not but be fertile when so much blood has seeped into it?
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. It compares the historical and contemporary experiences of Ukrainians living under Russian oppression, with the hope of raising awareness in mainstream audiences of the war occurring in Eastern Ukraine today.
Inspired by the actual experiences of the playwright’s grandparents, who fled Ukraine during WWII, and the true accounts of people interviewed in the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine, during a recent trip to Ukraine. Blood of Our Soil reveals personal stories which span generations at the heart of political turmoil: from WWII to the hybrid conflict currently raging in Eastern Ukraine. 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.
Pyretic Productions associates, including playwright Lianna Makuch, director Patrick Lundeen, and dramaturge Matthew MacKenzie, are travelling to Kyiv, Ukraine in October 2018 to continue the development of Blood of Our Soil.
We will work with local theatre company, Wild Theatre (Дикий театр), and receive feedback from individuals affected by the conflict. An English-Langue, staged reading will take place on Wednesday, October 18 at the Les Kurbas Centre in Kyiv.
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.
The Edmonton premiere was generously supported by:
Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, 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
Blood of Our Soil is presented in association with Punctuate! Theatre:
Thank you to our Funders
Poster Design by Tynan Boyd