Stage Door News

Blyth: The Blyth Festival raises funds for Ukraine with an award-winning show

Monday, March 7, 2022

Gil Garratt announced today that on Thursday March 10, the Blyth Festival in partnership with Pyretic Productions will be presenting an online reading of Barvinok by Edmonton based playwright Lianna Makuch to raise humanitarian funds for Ukraine.

Originally produced by Pyretic Productions in association with Punctuate! Theatre in Edmonton in 2018, the production garnered four Sterling Award nominations and in March of 2019 went on to premiere at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre; plans for a national tour were scuttled by Covid19. Barvinok is a two act play directed by Patrick Lundeen, and starring Lianna Makuch, Mariya Khomutova, Andrew Kushnir, Maxwell Lebeuf, Tanya Pacholok and Christina Nguyen.

Lianna Makuch is a second generation Ukrainian Canadian Theatre Artist. She is the playwright and principal performer in Barvinok, which has garnered her awards and recognition from across the country and internationally.

Gil Garratt says, “This is a moment in history our generation has not seen before. It is crushing to see what is happening in Eastern Europe and we knew as an organization we needed to do something tangible. The play Ms. Makuch and Pyretic have created is extraordinary. They built the script through grassroots, immersive story building, traveling to Ukraine over and over for years, gathering interviews and insights. These artists have tried to hold the heart of Ukraine in their hands and share it. We are all richer for it.”

During the pre-recorded event, links to donate to the Red Cross and the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation groups will be featured and easily found both on Blyth Festival social media channels and the Blyth Festival website ( We urge audiences to donate generously.

The recording will be available on the Blyth Festival YouTube channel for the next month while we bring awareness to this urgent crisis.


Photo: Lianna Makuch in Barvinok. © 2019 Dahlia Katz.