Urban Stages presents this dark New York premiere, about a man who finds himself haunted by his experience as a young man with the Rwandan genocide. More…
16-year-old David finds himself in Uganda as a church missionary. He follows the girl of his dreams into the woods as the Rwandan genocide erupts. 20 years later and half a world away, he still can’t escape what happened and publishes a book on the events. When a note arrives reading, “There are untruths here,” David finds himself back in those woods with the boy he tried to save, in a journey towards redemption and forgiveness.
"Exquisite writing by Sean Christopher Lewis...David launches into a chilling account of the horrific events he witnessed...His account is somewhat suspect, the real mystery within the mystery of the play. As I cannot divulge the crux of this thriller, you’ll have to witness this remarkable journey for yourselves...It’s a remarkable evening all around, evocative and harrowing. Hill and Napolitano helmed this amazing evening with panache." Full Review
"The one-man play offers an intense and unnerving look at man’s inhumanity to man, the lingering personal effects of unimaginable trauma, and ideas on how best to cope in the aftermath by embracing truth and forgiveness...A gripping direct-address monologue that employs us as witnesses to his story...'Dogs of Rwanda' isn’t easy to watch, but it’s impossible to turn away from the truth of what happened and the riveting production at Urban Stages." Full Review
"Hodge as David is exceptional, and if not for his fantastically, raw performance 'Dogs of Rwanda' would not be an easy watch...Lewis gives Hodge a plentiful, vivid script that helps you understand why David, though a charming, friendly man, still feels like a wounded 16 year old...While 'Dogs of Rwanda' is a one-man show, Hodge is so vivacious and interpersonal that you feel God's Blessing is there telling him not to paint him as a Tutsi victim but an unwilling killer." Full Review
"A solo show...Filled with terrors...Lewis' text is filled with fine details...Under the direction of Hill and Napolitano...Hodge holds us firmly in his grip...He is well-suited to the role of an innocent who has wandered into the heart of darkness...The production is striking and yet not too slick...There are gaps in the text that one would like to see filled...Maintains a viselike power -- it is a trip to hell and back, and it poses lingering questions about guilt and reconciliation." Full Review
"David's chronicle is gripping, violent, and ultimately quite moving, and Hodge gives a riveting performance...There is something instinctively off putting about a white male character confronting the psychological torment of the Rwandan genocide...In the end, though, 'Dogs of Rwanda' shows that cultural scars are not limited by racial or national origins. We are all implicated in historical traumas by the narratives we hear and the stories we receive." Full Review
"The narrative could be greatly improved with a better depiction of the geographical aspects of the story…'Dogs of Rwanda''s subject matter is intrinsically interesting but there's little of historical or political importance in it that…well-informed audiences don't already know. Its greatest value lies in the opportunity it provides for an exciting solo performance...Hodge…offers a strong, personable characterization of someone genuinely affected after having gone through such indelible trau... Full Review
"Hodge commandingly plays the American narrator...Though well-written...comes across as a contrived episode that restates that war is hell. Lewis' approach may be fresh but the subject matter isn't, and so even with the compelling performances and excellent presentation, the 70-minute show is an artistic draw...Succeeds on many crucial levels but one's enjoyment of it depends on if one is the in mood for a bleak theatrical travelogue without an imperative purpose." Full Review
"'Dogs of Rwanda', a monodrama by Sean Christopher Lewis at Urban Stages, is a narrated tale wherein a man tells of his personal experience with the Rwandan genocide while he was a teenaged missionary. He’s published a book about this horrific experience and has been contacted by a survivor who has criticized him for not telling the whole story. Dan Hodge is mighty fine as Our Narrator, but there is no escaping the fact that this is a story, not a play, albeit a most compelling one." Full Review
"Hodge's tendency to telegraph each emotional beat betrays the contrivance of the script. His attempts to summon white-hot anger mostly leave us cold as we see the wheels turning in his head...Unfortunately, all of the African characters discussed in 'Dogs of Rwanda' come across as thinly drawn sketches...His frequent digressions into his B-plot romance with Mary Jane are even more tiresome...It all leaves a false aftertaste that is very hard to wash down." Full Review
for a previous production "A gripping solo play that deals with loss, grief, and truth...Under Maura Krause’s precise direction, Hodge holds the audience in the palm of his hand throughout. What seems like innocuous banter can segue effortlessly into a gut punch...The play and the performance are both deeply unsettling, precisely because Hodge fosters such a precise level of intimacy...This is a refreshingly honest way to handle a story that centers around a perceived transgression...'Dogs of Rwanda' demands to be seen." Full Review
for a previous production "This play is a fascinating and exhausting hourlong monologue, performed with great power and subtlety by Dan Hodge. The gruesome details and the action-filled chronicle are riveting — an enormous challenge in a solo show...Hodge, master of the sickly smile, never simplifies or illustrates; this is acting that refuses to be seen as acting...Lewis’ 'Dogs of Rwanda' is filled with small motivic links that knit the play together, far more complex effects than I could catch in one viewing." Full Review
for a previous production "Through the character of David, played convincingly by Dan Hodge in this 70-minute one-man show, we see ourselves...Hodge's performance is extraordinarily genuine and personal...'Dogs of Rwanda' becomes an immersive and intense experience, a well-crafted play that goes beyond cataloging atrocities to investigate how and why they're committed and how we might somehow, someday, recover from them." Full Review
See it if You enjoy great storytelling. The subject can be quite dark and disturbing (genocide) he weaves a story you can get lost in-and learn from.
Don't see it if You’re looking for light and fluffy.
See it if You’d like to hear an engaging story of forgiveness that is set during the 100 day Rwandan genocide accompanied by the talking drum.
Don't see it if You don’t want to be reminded of a tragic event in African history.
See it if You want to see a compelling, well acted and designed story about guilt and trauma.
Don't see it if You're not interested in one man shows. You can't handle descriptions of violence.
See it if You like well acted one man shows that are based on historical events such as the Rwandan genocide and the subjects of guilt and memory
Don't see it if You have no interest in guilt, coming to terms with youthful mistakes or genocide
See it if you are interested in the horror of genocide in general, or in Rwanda in particular. As well as redemption/forgiveness. Musician-fabulous.
Don't see it if learning of the horror of genocide is too painful. One-character shows bore you.
See it if The subject is compelling. The Rwandan genocide from one man’s personal experience. Imaginative use of drum to score the show. I saw the
Don't see it if You can’t stand another one actor show. You know nothing about the Rwandan genocide. You must have an intermission. You only like musicals
See it if This flashback story about a trip to Rwanda finds heft more in the situation and country than the actual story told engagingly by the actor.
Don't see it if One-man shows can run from eye-rolling to ultimate adoration. This falls pretty much in the center where the setting overshadows the story.
See it if You enjoy being told a unique story. A beautiful atmosphere was created on the small stage. The actor very good indeed -
Don't see it if You have no patience for a one man play about an unusual and violent story in Rwanda
See it if This very emotional and personal story of redemption is revealed by the adult obsessed by the murder and the violence he had witnessed
Don't see it if You like ensemble plays.
See it if you want to learn more about the Rwandan genocide through the eyes of an outsider
Don't see it if you don't enjoy solo shows, especially ones with audience interaction, or are distracted by onstage musicians.
See it if you want a thoughtful exploration of forgiveness, blame and the repercussions of genocide. It's dark at times, but not too heavy.
Don't see it if you require brilliant writing (script could use tightening/a little more clarity in what it's trying to achieve), or don't like 1-man shows
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