Sarena Parmar’s The Orchard (After Chekhov) is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, told through the eyes of a Sikh farming family in the Okanagan Valley, Canada. Set in 1967, the play offers a fresh perspective on our history, and a subversive look at ethnicity within the classical western canon.
Still grieving the loss of her youngest son, the matriarch of the Basran family returns home after five years abroad in India. But all is not well; the family she left behind is unravelling and their orchard has fallen into foreclosure. With the bank calling and relations strained, will the Basrans be able to save their beloved orchard in time?
Inspired by the playwright’s own childhood, The Orchard (After Chekhov) is a bold new adaptation that confronts life, loss, and the immigrant experience with bravery and beauty.
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.