Barvinok by Lianna Makuch
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. Barvinok tells a personal story of war and trauma that spans generations.
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, Barvinok 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.
Inspired by personal accounts from war-torn Ukraine in 1944 and true stories from the country’s current conflict. Barvinok 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.
"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
Keywords: War, Ukraine, Culture, History, WWII, aging, grandparent, Eastern Europe
First produced by Pyretic Productions in association with Punctuate! Theatre, March 2019