Retta Blaney is the author of Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life through the Eyes of Actors, which features interviews with Kristin Chenoweth, Dudu Fisher, Edward Herrmann, Liam Neeson, Phylicia Rashad, Vanessa Williams and others. Her freelance work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsday, Jewish Week, American Theatre, Back Stage and other publications. She is editor of the anthology Journalism Stories from the Real World, a book of essays, and has taught at Brooklyn College, New York University and Marymount Manhattan College. As a full-time reporter, she worked for newspapers in Maryland and New York.
Truth and its elusiveness are the dominant themes of the play, “Sense of an Ending,” by Ken Urban, playing now through Sept. 6 at 59E59 Theaters in New York City. The plot explores the Roman Catholic church’s involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, including the involvement of two Benedictine sisters, who were ultimately convicted of war crimes against the Tutsis. Urban, who was raised Catholic, said, “It feels like the right time to tell this story. It's not about race in America, but it's a story of race in the world.”
Sr. Carol Perry, a Sister of St. Ursula, found a revelation in 1957 when she was allowed to study Scripture directly: for one thing, the Bible deals with flesh and blood human beings. For 34 years she has been bringing great storytelling skills of her own and her deeply informed passion for Scripture to groups at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, where her Sunday class – with Protestants and Catholics – is standing-room-only.