By: Sandi Durell
The 1994 genocide that occurred in Rwanda of the slaughter of thousands of Tutsis by Hutus stings with the reality of Ken Urban’s new play “Sense of an Ending.” When a disgraced journalist attempts to regain his place in the world of media, he makes his way to the Kigali prison where two nuns are being held for trial charged with homicide during this horrible massacre. His job: to get to the truth by interviewing both as trials are being held in Belgium.
Charles, the journalist, (a dynamic Joshua David Robinson) encounters Paul (a smooth-talking Hubert Point-Du-Jour), a soldier, at the doors of the Church where the massacre took place, and where the bodies were left as they had been found, Paul urging him to visit inside. Charles, however, is intent on his story, meeting and interviewing the Nuns – Sister Justina (a tough, pragmatic Heather Alicia Simms) and her more malleable and younger counterpart Sister Alice (Dana Marie Ingraham). On a simply set stage in Theater C at 59e59 Theaters, the players move amidst four benches and giant church doors (scenic design David L. Arsenault) unfolding a terrible story of lies, cover-ups and questions that set religion against the personal responsibilities people of faith exercise when pushed to choose.
The truth becomes more questionable when a survivor of the massacre comes to the fore, Dusabi (a heartbroken, traumatized Danyon Davis), whose wife died during the horrors, to tell his side of what occurred. Reenactment of the terror and killings are remarkably achieved with Travis McHale’s vibrant lighting effects as the memory is played out. The Nuns each reveal themselves and their individual priorities and the audience is left with the knowledge of the continuing horrors that plague our planet as people fight brother against brother. There is no sense of an ending.
The play is deftly directed by Adam Fitzgerald and is produced by kef theatrical productions. It runs 90 minutes, no intermission thru September 6th. www.59e59.org
*Photos: Carol Rosegg