by Lianna Makuch

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

“[Barvinok] is a quietly remarkable event… tightly written, beautifully designed, and skillfully performed” – Moody on Theatre, Toronto

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

Since moving into the long-term care centre Hania’s grandmother has been restless. She’s agitated. Something from her past is haunting her. She desperately asks Hania to return to their Ukrainian homeland and seek out a missing piece of their family history. Hania’s search brings her to the edge of the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine. 

Through internet-enabled networks, Hania is connected to Pavlo and Misha, two late-20s war veterans who agree to help her navigate the wartorn countryside from Slovyansk, to Pisky, along the front line and into dangerous territory. It is when Hania finally finds her long lost family that she makes a startling discovery, and must confront the truth about her Baba’s past.

Set in 2017, just 3 years after the Russian invasion in 2014, Barvinok weaves traditional polyphonic Ukrainian folk music and dramatic storytelling to tell a personal story of war and intergenerational trauma. It offers a rare window into the human stories of resilience behind the unimaginable experience of war, both past and present.

“[Barvinok] packs a punch.” – Amy Strizic, My Entertainment World

“Makuch, Lundeen and MacKenzie have done a remarkable job of creating a theatrical experience that ties together a heritage journey with thoughtful commentary” – Karen Fricker, Toronto Star

The play is inspired by the experiences of the playwright’s grandparents who fled Ukraine during WWII, and true accounts of people interviewed in conflict zones in Eastern Ukraine. In October 2017, Pyretic Productions traveled to Ukraine and ventured within just 5km of what was then the frontline, where they interviewed dozens of people affected by the ongoing war. Pyretic returned in October 2018 to further develop and workshop the play with Kyiv-based local theatre company Wild Theatre and presented a sold-out staged reading at the infamous Les Kurbas Theatre.


Wednesday, September 21 - 7:30pm (Preview)
Thursday, September 22 - 7:30pm (Opening)
Friday, September 23 - 7:30pm
Saturday, September 24 - 1:30pm
Saturday, September 24 - 7:30pm
Sunday, September 25 - 1:30pm

Tickets are Pay-What-You-Will. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated in support of Ukraine. 

Creative Team

Written by Lianna Makuch
Directed by Patrick Lundeen
Dramaturgy by Matthew MacKenzie
Production Design by Stephanie Bahniuk
Music Direction by Larissa Pohoreski
Choreography by Amber Borotsik
Sound & Video Design by Nicholas Mayne
Stage Management by Lore Green
Assistant Stage Management by Elizabeth Page
Rehearsal Stage Management by Kiidra Duhalt
Production Management/Technical Direction by Trent Crosby
Associate Producer Brett Dahl


Hania/Kateryna - Lianna Makuch
Pavlo - Gabriel Richardson
Misha - Maxwell Lebeuf
Yelena - Kristen Padayas
Katya - Alexandra Dawkins
Natasha - Tanya Pacholok
Understudy (Yelena, Katya, Natasha) - Bella King

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