Inside 20,000 square feet of vacant downtown office space, the pioneering site-specific company En Garde Arts presents a transportive new work asking: who has the right to tell a story and why? More…
'Red Hills' invites audiences to travel from an NGO presentation by David Zosia, American author and self-proclaimed expert on Rwandan history, to the fields of Rwanda to meet God’s Blessing, a Rwandan Tour guide. Travel back to 1994 and experience these two men from vastly different cultures as they relive the events of their first meeting during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. A collaboration between similarly diverse playwrights, Ugandan Asiimwe Deborah Kawe and American Sean Christopher Lewis, 'Red Hills' invites you to bear witness as two men face long-buried memories, confront ghosts of their pasts, and question who owns history.
“A clever, site-responsive play...An intelligent work of theater and ultimately a reassuring one...What Ms. Pearl’s canny direction and the evocative design can only somewhat disguise is the conventional structure of the piece...The problem isn’t that this is a hopeful ending, but that it’s an ending that elides some of the more uncomfortable questions about who gets to own pain, who gets to profit from it, what it means that hate has birthed a tourism industry.” Full Review
"An honest conversation, full of laughter and heartache, between unlikely companions in misery. The seamless collaboration of two authors elevates the monologue of a privileged white man and returns the voice to those whose story it is in the first place...Ssenjovu’s performance is lively and forceful, and watching him savor Kawe’s tart jokes is very refreshing. The effect is strengthened by the contrast of horrifying stories of genocide in which his entire family perished." Full Review
“A reworking of Lewis’ solo memory play ‘Dogs of Rwanda’...Kawe maintains Lewis’ basic plot but alters the conception for two characters...Lacks a compelling spine and earlier presentational additions don’t really add much...Never becomes very compelling...Writing is slack, rudimentary and persistently not very clear. The audience is often directly engaged to react...'Red Hills' nobly seeks to dramatize a notable and tragic historical event but does so inadequately.” Full Review
See it if you enjoy immersive theatre; are interested in hearing about the Rwandan genocide
Don't see it if you have trouble standing for extended periods of time; sitting on a hard wooden bench for the majority of the show sounds unbearable
See it if You want an absorbing theatrical production covering an important period of recent history, deeply moving and powerful
Don't see it if You want a traditional play, or if the subject matter would be an issue, but it’s a topic that needs to be addressed (uncomfy seats)
See it if immersive and interactive theatre is a plus. great use of space, scenic design, and music/foley.
Don't see it if u don't like participation or want to be seated for the whole time. Don't like well-meaning whiteness being challenged.
See it if You want a different kind of theatre experience - and a subject matter that is heartbreaking and gives one great pause to think
Don't see it if You are uninterested in the Rwandan genocide and do not have a certain patience for storytelling.
See it if You enjoy shows with audience immersion/interaction. You want to see a piece of theatre that will make you research the subject matter.
Don't see it if You very much dislike any sort of audience participation. You feel you would not be able to sit on a wooden bench for a while.
See it if you like an unusual setting and a small cast; interested in the topic of two men's experience in Rwanda
Don't see it if you have trouble sitting on a bench for a long period of time; your mind wanders during slow performances
See it if you are interested in an exploration of forgiveness (or lack thereof) and stories/who should be telling them
Don't see it if you're not comfortable with some audience participation, you want proper seats, you want a lot of plot/action
See it if You don't mind being beaten over the head with a hackneyed story. It is hard to believe someone agreed to be identified as a dramaturge.
Don't see it if Obvious is a problem for you. Please, give the hero a bad habit, and give us any reason to not hate the stupid, evil white guy.
See it if You want to be disappointed. Site-specific shows when done right are powerfully immersive, this feels forced at best and grueling at worst.
Don't see it if You want to see a thoughtful examination of how genocide affects a nation.
See it if Rwanda and its history interests you, you like site-specific, immersive staging
Don't see it if You don't like to stand or sit in uncomfortable chairs or 90 minutes. A two person play doesn't do much for you.
See it if You want to sit in a sauna for 3 hours listening to two people complain.
Don't see it if You expect to have a great customer experience. The space does not accommodate a good theater-going experience.
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