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.
Blood of Our Soil tells the story of Hania, a Canadian woman, as she reflects on fond memories of summers spent with her beloved Baba (Ukrainian for grandmother). After a chance discovery allows her to gain new insights about her Baba’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. But 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 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. A poignant and emotional performance experience, Blood of Our Soil integrates dramatic storytelling, live Ukrainian folk music, a fusion of Ukrainian and contemporary dance, and a projection design that paints a landscape of both beauty and terror.
How can our land not but be fertile when so much blood has seeped into it?
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 voiceless 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.
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
Consulting Choreography 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, Maxwell Lebeuf, Tanya Pacholok, Larissa Pohoreski
Production Management by Trent Crosby
Lobby Installation Curation by Marlee Yule
In March 2018, Pyretic Productions 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.
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
Elizabetheth 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
Artwork by Larissa Pohoreski