The Orchard (After Chekhov)

Written by:

Sarena Parmar

Artist/Creator(s) Identify As:

Person/People of Colour

Cast Size:
13

Roles For:

  • Indigenous Peoples: 1
  • Men: 8
  • People of Colour: 8
  • Women: 5

Genre:

Adaptation
Drama

Themes:

Agriculture
Canadian History
Classic
Community
Grief
Loss

Length:

120 min.

Year Written:

2018

Synopsis:

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 Okanagan Valley, Canada, 1967. A Punjabi-Sikh family in a rural farming community. 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 beloved family orchard has fallen into foreclosure. Inspired by the playwright’s own childhood, The Orchard (After Chekhov) is a bold new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard that confronts life, loss, and the immigrant experience with bravery and beauty.

Characters:

LOVELEEN is around 50. Charismatic. But cannot face the death of her husband and son. She has made life a distraction to avoid the grief. Shares land owner- ship with her brother. South Asian.

GURJIT is in his late 40s. Young at heart. He loves to solve problems with his imagination. He faces more racism than he admits to himself. Younger brother of LOVELEEN. South Asian.

ANNIE is in her 20s. Darling and mediator of the family. A passionate idealist. She is a girl on the precipice of her womanhood. Daughter of LOVELEEN. South Asian.

BARBRA is in her late 20s. Exhausted. She manages the majority of the household. Her pursuit to assimilate costs Barbra her soul. Niece of LOVELEEN and GURJIT. South Asian.

KESUR is around 80. Grounded. It’s like he is a part of the land. The moral centre of the family. He is acutely observant. All his stories are roundabout ways to give them the guidance they need. Father of LOVELEEN and GURJIT. South Asian.

MICHAEL LOPAKHIN is in his 30s. An awkward sense of humour. Good-hearted. He loves the Basran family deeply. Michael’s Achilles heel is his own ambition. Self-made businessman. Caucasian.

PETER is in his late 20s. Passionate and intelligent. He was the last person to see Griesha alive, and carries the weight of that responsibility. Family friend of the Basrans. South Asian.

YASH is in his late 20s. A ladies man. Behind his bravado, he is fiercely loyal to the Basrans. In his eyes, they raised him. Grew up around the Basran home, like extended family. South Asian.

YEBI is around 30. Despite his troubles, he always has a happy-go-lucky attitude. His name literally means Shrimp Mountain. His admiration of cowboys is true and real. Handyman and fruit picker for the Basrans. Japanese.

DONNA is around 25. Flighty. She loves the feeling of being in love. She aspires to be sophisticated which she also associates with being Caucasian. Works for the Basrans in the fruit stand. Japanese.

CHARLIE is in her 60s. Unsentimental. She is comfortable being a lone wolf. She shares a special kinship with Kesur, and fondness for the family. Fruit picker for the Basrans. First Nations.

PAUL is around 50. A big-hearted and robust personality. Salt-of-the-earth farmer. Unaware of his racial biases. Owns the orchard next to the Basrans. Caucasian.

BOY is about 13. The age Griesha would have been if he were still alive. Entitled but poor. Caucasian.

First Produced:

The Orchard (After Chekhov) premiered at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, on June 23rd 2018. Programmed by Artistic Director Tim Carroll.

Resources:

The Orchard (After Chekhov) is available through Scirocco Drama.

The Orchard (After Chekhov) can be accessed at the Canadian Play Outlet.