All donations will go exclusively towards the production costs and living expenses, for the duration of the tour for the 7 members of the Ukrainian team (not including me). A donation of any size would make a massive difference. For example £12 can cover a comfortable night's accommodation for a team member, while £40 can cover an actor's travel expenses, that's around 40 hours of train travel across the steppe! We're taking positive, new-writing theatre to audiences in areas that have never had an opportunity to be a part of a production quite like this before.
We aim to hit this goal, if possible, by May 1st! Then we can get the planning underway confidently.
We plan to take this play to six cities including cultural centres such as Kiev and Kharkiv as well as cities in the Donbas region that have been recently affected by the ongoing war with Russian-backed separatists. In each city, members of the audience will join the cast in exploring memories of those nearest and dearest.
I personally, and all of the team, will be so grateful for your help. Of all of the theatre projects I have done in Oxford and before none match up to this in terms of the impact and feedback we have had so far. I will be keen to keep in touch with donors and I will keep everyone informed through social media or personally about what we are managing to do with your help!
"The Orchard" explores personal and national memory through the telling of two love stories that occur on the same scruffy piece of land on a hill beside some tower-blocks somewhere in a quiet corner of central/eastern Europe: this is their orchard. The tale is based on the lives, and memories of the grandparents of the cast members. We try to focus on what we all have in common, what we all hold dear, not what separates us.
- Rupert Hutchinson Smith
- James Geary
- Celia Douglas
- Victoria Hayes
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