DOGS OF RWANDA
1994. At 16 years of age David found himself in Uganda as a church missionary. When he follows the girl of his dreams into the woods to help a Rwandan boy they’ve stumbled upon he enters a world from which he will never fully be able to escape. On the 20th anniversary of the genocide he witnessed firsthand a book David wrote regarding his experiences that Spring arrives with a note from the Rwandan boy he once tried to save. “You didn’t tell them everything,” it says. “You didn’t tell them everything.” A dinner party story for the ages.
“Accessibility is not simply making our venues approachable. It is also making our art approachable.”
A performance built for living rooms, lobbies, parks, backyards, theaters and more- DOGS OF RWANDA- springs from a want to bring world class art directly to people. Influenced by the stories of the Federal Theatre Project, I set out to create a stripped down performance that could expose non theater going audiences to the work in their living rooms. My political and social activism was inspired around dinner tables with my uncles and relatives, it was conversations in pathways with close friends- it was always heightened by the intimacy and immediacy of the conversation.
AUDIO and VIDEO
“Riveting… moving… an expert storyteller.”– The Equinox
“Lewis is a mesmerizing storyteller, and this is a story of forgiveness that needs to be seen by church youth groups, high school social studies students, adult discussion groups and any place where people can gather to absorb this cautionary tale based on realities we can’t even fathom.” Cedar Rapids Gazette
“Lewis sits at a table with a glass of water and a book and tells us the story, as if we were his closest friends- a simple vocal adjustment — such as an effective accent, or imitating the sound of a machete chopping through grass, or even the way his voice speeds up as the situation becomes perilous — goes a long way towards creating the setting. The style, casual and intimate, disarms us, while at the same time the carefully planned structure of the story works its magic, creating a very personal, devastating slice of history.”– Iowa Theatre
“Funny one minute then thrust back into the harrowing the next…” Iowa Press Citizen
“Unforgettable”- Hoopla Now
Audience Feed Back:
“My friends are still talking about it, please pass along to Sean, everyone from last night has just been calling all day and saying they’ve never seen or done anything like that before. We are beyond thrilled.”- AVLT Board Member
“I can’t even describe it. We didn’t know what to expect but it was better than we ever could have imagined.I would always see theater if it were like this.”- Audience Member, Private Residence
“It was like having a friend tell you about this amazing thing that happened to them. It seemed so real and honest. I was moved. I don’t remember the last time I was moved like that.”- Audience Member, Private Residence
Sean Christopher Lewis is the Artistic Director of Working Group Theatre the recent winner of the 2013 Rick Graf Award from the Human Rights Commission. His previous monologues and plays have won the Kennedy Center’s Rosa Parks Award, the National New Play Network Smith Prize, the NEA Voices in Community Award, the Barrymore Award, the Central Ohio Critic Circle Award and more. His plays have been performed at major theaters, colleges, prisons, detention centers and living rooms in the United States, Canada, East Africa and Europe.
He can be heard as a contributor to NPR’S This American Life and his work has appeared in the NY Times, Huffington Post and numerous literary journals.
16th Street Theatre
University of Northern Iowa Genocide Center
Cedar Falls, IA
Redfern Performing Arts Center
Iowa City, IA
National New Play Network
National Performance Network
Cedar Rapids, IA
AVAILABLE LIGHT THEATRE
Ojai Playwrights Festival