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Sarena Parmar

Sarena Parmar is an actor and playwright who grew up on her family orchard in Kelowna, B.C. She graduated from the National Theatre School in Montreal and the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre (Stratford Festival). The Orchard (After Chekhov), Parmar’s first play, premiered at the Shaw Festival and marked the first South Asian playwright produced in the festival’s history. Parmar now lives in Toronto where she writes and acts.


The Orchard (After Chekhov)

Winnipeg: Scirocco Drama, 2020.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Ma misses the sun, warmth and colors of their faraway homeland, but her daughter sees magic in everything — the clouds in the winter sky, the “firework” display when she throws an armful of snow into the air, making snow angels, tasting snowflakes. And in the end, her joy is contagious. Home is where family is, after all.

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.


Sarena Parmar official Facebook page

Publisher J. Gordon Shillingford, publisher of the Scirocco Drama imprint