NYC Reading of Jay O. Sanders' Unexplored Interior, Commemorating Rwandan Genocide, Held May 11

By Michael Gioia
11 May 2014

Jay O. Sanders
Jay O. Sanders

In recognition of the 20-year anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, actor-writer Jay O. Sanders' play Unexplored Interior receives a reading May 11 — that simultaneously screens in Rwanda via a Google+ Hangout — at noon at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Directed by James Glossman, the reading features Fritz Weaver, Sharon Washington, Arthur French, Michael McKean, Owiso Odera, Marlyne Barrett, Charles Parnell, Irungu Mutu, Craig Alan Edward, Nile Bullock, Matthew Murumba, Clark Jackson, Benjamin Thys, James A. Williams and Glenna Grant.

A technological and creative partnership with Google+ allows the play to be seen in NYC and at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center in Rwanda, where it will be shown on a screen at their newly constructed outdoor amphitheater via Google+ Hangout On Air (a live video conference call featuring up to ten people).

After the performance, the respective parties at each location will have a face-to-face discussion about the play and the commemoration. External viewers will be able to see both the performance in NYC and the audience in Rwanda in real time, and use the social media platform to comment or type in questions for those present through Hangout On Air's Q&A app.



Unexplored Interior, according to press notes, "follows an old Tutsi story-teller, who invites us to join him in the most beautiful place on earth — Rwanda. He becomes our guide through the history and people of the land he loves. In the wake of the 1994 genocide, multiple stories unfold: A Hutu government minister, engaged in encouraging the killing falls deeply in love with a Tutsi woman; The head of the U.N. peacekeepers, haunted by the hundreds of thousands of people he couldn’t save, struggles with his own will to live; A young Rwandese film student, away at school in New York City when his country implodes embarks on an eye-opening journey to find out what has become of his family and craft a film that will bring his country's story to the world. The play weaves together the lives of these and other characters, who experience the genocide from many different perspectives and ultimately come together to move forward into the uncertain future, reaching for hope. Unexplored Interior is a tale about the universality of grief and an inspiring tale of friendship, love, strength of will, kindness and empathy."

"Presenting this play at the Museum of Jewish Heritage offers the perfect resonance, connecting the tragedy of Rwanda with the other genocides of the world," added author Sanders in a recent statement. "Live streaming to Rwanda itself, using the latest generation of Google+ Hangouts On Air, with technical support and guidance by a team from Google, will make it possible to connect the audiences of both countries, as well as possibly a few others who may elect to join in."

Daniel Neiden produces.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage is located at 36 Battery Place in Battery Park. Tickets for the event are free and open to the public. To RSVP, email alekd@theflea.org. For more information, visit mjhnyc.org or kigaligenocidememorial.org.