The NNPN Rolling World Premiere of DOGS OF RWANDA by Sean Christopher Lewis Opens at Out of Hand Theater

Oct 12, 2016

Washington, D.C. - National New Play Network, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, celebrates the opening of the Rolling World Premiere (RWP) of Dogs of Rwanda by Sean Christopher Lewis at Out of Hand Theater (September 15-November 18, Atlanta, GA). During the Roll, the play also received productions at NNPN Core Members 16th Street Theater (Berwyn, IL, October 21-November 19, 2016), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN, January 6-15, 2017), and InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA, June 3-18, 2017). Out of Hand Theater’s production of Dogs of Rwanda will take the play out of the traditional theater setting with performances for the public in 15 private homes, an artist studio, and a church across the Atlanta region.

NNPN provides production support to the playwright and the partnering theaters, including assistance with the creation and the contracting of the premiere agreement, collaborative interactions between the theaters, and funds for the playwright's residency in each city to further develop the play.

Acclaim for Dogs of Rwanda:

“Lewis delivers the gripping tale of a callow, lovesick young man who only went to Africa to be with his crush and got much, much more than he bargained for.”

-Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader

“ has been leaving a powerful impression on audiences in the few venues lucky to have seen it so far.”

- Joel Pierson, Herald Times Online

“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…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.”

-Toby Zinman, The Inquirer


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.


Sean Christopher Lewis is the Artistic Director of Riverside Theatre in Iowa City and the NEFA Award winning Working Group Theatre in New York. His plays include Red Hills (produced by Quantum Theatre and En Grade Arts), Dogs of Rwanda (NNPN Rolling World Premiere at 16th Street Theatre,  Phoenix Theatre, Interact Theatre and Out of Hand Theatre), Killadelphia (Baltimore Center Stage, American Theatre Company, 16th Street Theatre, Interact Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Touchstone Theatre, Available Light Theatre, winner of the NNPN Smith Prize), Just Kids (Available Light Theatre, Pontine Theatre, Sandglass Theatre), Manning Up (NNPN Rolling World Premiere at Riverside Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, Actor's Summit), The Aperture (Cleveland Public Theatre), Militant Language (Know Theatre, Halcyon Theatre) and I Will Make You Orphans (Riverside Theatre, Hyde Park Theatre, Uno Festival of Solo Performance). His work has won the NNPN Emerging Playwright Residency, the Barrymore Award, the William Inge Fellowship, the NEA Voices in Community Award and the NNPN National Commission.


Created to be a theater for people NOT going to the theater, 16th Street was founded in 2007 to serve and give voice to ALL in Berwyn’s community: not just for some in our community, but for all. Dedicated to artistic excellence, professionalism (paying artists a decent wage) diversity and affordability, 16th Street exists to encourage debate, discussion and compassion amongst our community through the medium of intimate and diverse theater with the playwright as its central focus. 16th Street is a place where audiences are invited to experience not only their own stories, but to experience their neighbors’ stories and stories of “the other.”


The Phoenix Theatre is Indiana's only professional contemporary theatre, and has presented productions to challenge and entertain the Indianapolis community for over 33 years. The Phoenix strives to expand the community’s exposure to diverse topics and start conversations that lead to positive change; produce vital, engaging plays that deepen and expand our views of a shared humanity; and stimulate conversation and promote diversity via intimate, engaged, and wide-ranging theater. Additionally, the Phoenix aims to move the political bent of the community from the right to the center via theater, and create intimate theatre so powerful and engaging it sparks and leads Indiana’s cultural conversation. This year, the Phoenix announced its Capital Campaign, "Phoenix Rising," to raise 8.5 million dollars to build a new home and state-of-the-art arts center in downtown Indianapolis.  The new building will be home not only to the Phoenix, but to other local guest theatre companies.


Founded in 1988, InterAct is dedicated to presenting new and contemporary plays that explore the political, social and cultural issues of our time. The company produces four plays annually, and is actively involved in the development of new plays, workshops, and playwright support, as well as cultivating prize-winning writers, championing world premiere work, and creating community partnerships.


Out of Hand Theater makes shows, games and public art, for venues including parks, homes, businesses and theaters. Through annual free public arts events and original works, we embrace new audiences, celebrate community, and create moments of mass intimacy. We collaborate with scientists, artists, businesses, schools and civic organizations to create events reflecting their work, we train others to unlock their creativity and to innovate, and we bring free public art to thousands of people every year.