New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

Sense of an Ending

From 11 critic and 1 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Moving, Great staging, Relevant, Intelligent

About the show

59 E 59 presents a political thriller about a New York Times journalist and his exclusive interview with two Hutu nuns charged with homicide during the Rwandan genocide. More…

Commemorating the 21st anniversary of the atrocity, this is a story of forgiveness, faith and truth in the face of unspeakable horror. Disgraced journalist Charles arrives in Rwanda to meet the nuns, who must convince the world of their innocence during the 1994 genocide or face a lifetime in prison. When an unknown survivor contradicts their story, Charles must choose which version of the truth to tell the world. 'Sense of an Ending' shines a light on questions of faith and responsibility in the face of violence.

Theatre Reviews Limited

"It is imperative you secure tickets to see this remarkable play that raises the enduring and rich questions that challenge not just the broad issues of guilt and innocence but also challenge the larger issues of right and wrong and the ambiguity of morality...Director Adam Fitzgerald mines every ounce of sheer genius out of his resplendent cast. His staging counterpoints so meticulously with Mr. Urban’s script that 'Sense of an Ending' becomes a symphony for the senses." Full Review


"Mr. Urban does an excellent job of dramatizing and explaining a complex historical situation in this fictional treatment of a real case...Authoritatively directed by Adam Fitzgerald with bold flourishes and great attention to the performances, this production is taut and richly theatrical...'Sense of an Ending' is a noble and highly realized theatrical docudrama that keenly brings attention to a modern tragedy." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Reenactment of the terror and killings are remarkably achieved with Travis McHale’s vibrant lighting effects. 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." Full Review

Village Voice

"'Sense of an Ending' is cogent and beautifully acted. Urban sometimes hammers his ideas too heavily. But these are questions worth considering, and the striking final moments demonstrate that this playwright's sense of an ending is perfectly intact." Full Review

The New York Times

"There’s a lot to admire in Mr. Urban’s script...It is fast-paced, fluid and taut. But as directed by Adam Fitzgerald, it is also slick (sometimes it seems more like a teleplay) ...By the play’s conclusion, Mr. Urban has offered seemingly factual accounts from all the characters and a confident understanding of the massacre. This is satisfying, of course, but it also undercuts much of what has come before. The drama ultimately explains away its powerful ambiguities. Where’s the sense in that?" Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"This is a play that presses us to think hard about issues of ingrained bigotry, the perceived powerlessness of bystanders, and obedience to orders as an explanation/excuse for collusion. The format of the play, made up of brief conversations and interviews, does not allow us to get to know any of the characters well, but the actors, under Adam Fitzgerald’s taut direction, do an excellent job of conveying this sad tale." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"A kind of moral detective drama that manages to be simultaneously gripping and ultimately unsatisfying...The title notwithstanding, a powerful, satisfying ending is exactly what 'Sense of an Ending' is missing. Definitive answers may not be possible when dealing with an atrocity such as this, but Urban's script needs to delve more deeply into the question of what turns seemingly civilized people into savages." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"Director Adam Fitzgerald squeezes everything possible out of the small space’s limitations, and his actors are all solid, if unexceptional. Mr. Urban deserves kudos for attempting a play on such a significant topic, even if the play gains more of its power from its subject matter than the way that subject matter is expressed." Full Review


"A thoughtful meditation on guilt that is frustratingly sabotaged by an unnecessary B-plot...Director Adam Fitzgerald manages to pull these round performances out of a text that all too often falls flat...So much of it feels false and forcibly glued together. There's an incredible story lurking in the background, but you have to cut through a whole lot of fat in order to find it." Full Review

New York Post

"Who’s lying, who did what to whom, what are the characters’ agendas? Urban keeps us guessing. But the writing is repetitive and heavy-handed, and it’s hard to care for the characters. The overall effect should be one of suspense, but it feels more as if the show is running in circles." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"It’s understandable that writer Urban would use an American to help audiences enter the complicated Rwandan maelstrom, but this also proves to be a disservice to the play...As the story progresses, overemphasis on elements of American Charles’s backstory detracts from our comprehension of the magnitude of the Rwandan front story." Full Review

Moving, Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You enjoy shows depicting serious contemporary topics with crisp plotting and superb acting

Don't see it if You dislike stories "inspired by true events" or are sensitive to hearing about real life atrocities

Cast & Creatives (12)