Sarena Parmar’s The Orchard (After Chekhov) is an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, told through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family in the Okanagan Valley. With the bank calling and money low, will the Basrans be able to save their beloved orchard? The Orchard challenges our idea of what rural Canada looked and sounded like in the 1970s, offering a fresh perspective on our history, and a subversive look at ethnicity within the classical western canon. Inspired by the playwright’s own childhood, this fresh adaptation confronts life, loss, and the Canadian immigrant experience with humour and beauty. The Orchard (After Chekhov) premiered at the Shaw Festival.
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News & Reviews
“Builds a legacy of its own… the brilliance of Parmar’s adaptation is that she creates full, relatable, sympathetic characters who are up against challenges that extend far beyond their personal flaws.” —Toronto Star
“The Orchard (After Chekhov)… is simply extraordinary. But the real star of the show is the story itself. It’s heartwarming, funny and devastating at times, but mostly, it’s frighteningly familiar and relevant to the current political climate.” —Buffalo Theatre Guide
“Firmly crafted… Full of sinewy interconnections. The Orchard is confidently and assuredly a Canadian play — a mosaic of culture and attitude, remembrance and loss, with its own vivid sense of time and place.” —Capital Critics Circle, Ottawa
“It brilliantly takes its own path… grapples with race, not just class, and with what losing land might mean in our (Canadian) context.” —Globe & Mail
About the Author
Sarena Parmar is an actor and playwright. Her first play, The Orchard (After Chekhov), premiered at the Shaw Festival; Sarena was the first South Asian playwright produced in the festival’s history. The play went on to a second production at The Arts Club in Vancouver. As an actor, Sarena has performed in theatres across Canada. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School and Birmingham Conservatory. Sarena grew up on her family orchard in Kelowna, British Columbia. She now lives in Toronto.