Production Of ‘Dogs Of Rwanda’ Brings Horrors Of Genocide Home

"Dogs of Rwanda" stars only co-artistic director Adam Fristoe.
"Dogs of Rwanda" stars only co-artistic director Adam Fristoe.
Credit Bjeorn Kommerell

The slaughter of nearly a million Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 is the scene for Out of Hand Theatre’s production of “Dogs of Rwanda.” But the always-inventive company isn’t transporting audiences through elaborate sets or crowds of actors. The show is taking place in living rooms and small, intimate spaces around town for small groups of people at a time, and it stars only co-artistic director Adam Fristoe.

Fristoe narrates the story about a high schooler, David, who follows his crush on a mission trip where they find themselves unexpectedly caught up in the genocide with a young Tutsi named God’s Blessing. The narrator also relates what happened when he returned to Rwanda 20 years later.

“It is about one person’s attempt to really get at the truth of what happened to him,” Fristoe tells “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes. “David in the story talks a lot about Sisyphus and wondering if we are meant to do that. If I, as a person, am meant to have this horrific or challenging or baffling experience, and then do I have to keep pushing that rock up the hill my entire life or not, or is there some way to find reconciliation and put it down and let it go?”

Adam Fristoe’s next performance of Out Of Hand’s “Dogs of Rwanda” is Sept. 28 at the Rob Mello Studio in Doraville, and moves on to a variety of homes and small venues after that. The show runs through Nov. 18.