Theatre preview: Teesri Dunyia’s State of Denial decries Armenian genocide

Rahul Varma’s Teesri Duniya Theatre used to market itself with a promotional T-shirt that read, “Changing the World, One Play at a Time.”

Its mission has not changed. It continues to produce theatre that is socially and politically relevant and reflects a multicultural vision of society.

Varma’s latest work, State of Denial, mirrors this goal.

Although the Turkish government continues to deny it, scores of countries including Canada, the U.S., Russia, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Brazil, regard the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-23 by the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Nobody disputes the term with reference to the murder in Rwanda, by Hutu militias and some army and police, of 500,000 to 1 million members of the Tutsi tribe and progressive Hutus from April to mid-July1994.

Varma’s latest play, which opens at the Segal Centre Studio Oct. 8 for a two-week run, is set in contemporary Canada and Turkey in 1915.

Directed by Liz Valdez, the play ties the two genocides when Rwandan-born Odette, a Canadian filmmaker, travels to Turkey to investigate genocide stories and hidden identities.

She interviews Sahana, an older and respected Muslim woman who has devoted her life to helping Armenian survivors.

As she is dying, Sahana discloses a chilling secret to Odette, who then feels compelled to tell the world about it, whatever the cost.

Discussions with invited guests follows each matinee performance.

The play stars Susan Bain, Victoria Barkoff, Liano Bdewi, Jimmy Blais, Michaela Di Cesare, Eric Huasknost, Saro Saroyan, and Warona Satshowaelo.

For tickets, call the Segal Centre 514-739-7944 or

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