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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:22 AM


March 21, 2012 - 16:02 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Playwright Rahul Varma's decision to juxtapose the
Armenian and the Rwandan genocides n his new play, State of Denial,
makes for a doubly sobering evening of educational drama, Montreal
Gazette reports.

"Although many films have been made about the genocide, including Atom
Egoyan's 2002 movie Ararat, this is the first play I have seen on the
subject. (A quick Internet search turned up Joyce Van Dyke's Deported
/a dream play, now playing in Boston.)," the author of the article,
Pat Donnelly, writes.

"The current Turkish government remains in a state of official denial
about the massacre of the Armenians, which Hitler once boasted no
one would remember. In contrast, news of the Rwandan genocide spread
quickly around the world once the killing began, along with horrifying
images on television screens."

In order to bring both tragedies into his story, Varma shows a young
Rwandan-born Canadian documentary filmmaker named Odette (played by
Helen Koya) pursuing the life story of a Muslim woman named Sahana
(Rachelle Glait). Sahana has devoted her life to helping female
Armenian massacre survivors in Turkey overcome the aftermath of the
genocide. On her deathbed, she reveals a hidden past, leaving Odette
to connect the dots of the diaspora to Sahana's Canadian granddaughter
(portrayed by Natalie Tannous).

Odette is clearly pursuing this story as part of her own healing
process after losing family members in the Rwandan massacre.

The Armenian ambassador to Canada, Armen Yeganian, attended opening
night and said a few words, remarking that the play spoke for itself.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about State of Denial is that it
was written by a playwright born in India and features a multicultural
cast, none of whom are of Armenian background.

There will be panel discussions on Sunday and April 1, following the
2 p.m. matinees. The play runs two hours, including intermission.

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