Ruined (play)

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Ruined
Written by Lynn Nottage
Date premiered  2007 (2007-MM)
Place premiered Goodman Theatre
Original language English
Setting Democratic Republic of Congo
IOBDB profile

Ruined is a play by Lynn Nottage. The play won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[1][2] The play involves the plight of women in the civil war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Production history[edit]

Ruined was commissioned by the Goodman Theatre (Chicago, Illinois) and is a co-production with the Manhattan Theatre Club. Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey traveled to Uganda to interview women as background for the play, which first was performed in 2007 in the Goodman Theatre New Stages Series.[3] The play premiered in November 2008 at the Goodman Theatre and ran through December 7. It opened off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City Center – Stage I in previews on January 21, 2009, and officially on February 10, 2009. The production closed on September 6, 2009 after receiving nine extensions.[4]

Both productions were directed by Kate Whoriskey, with a cast that included Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Cherise Boothe, Condola Rashad, Chiké Johnson, Kevin Mambo, William Jackson Harper, Chris Chalk, Russell G. Jones, Tom Mardirosian, Ron McBee, Simon Shabantu Kashama and Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Mama Nadi) who left the production in May 2009 and was replaced by Portia. Scenic design was by Derek McLane, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen, and original music by Dominic Kanza with lyrics by Lynn Nottage.[5]

The European premiere of Ruined, directed by Indhu Rubasingham, opened for previews on April 15, 2010 with press night on April 22, 2010 at The Almeida Theatre in London. It closed on June 5, 2010. The cast included Jenny Jules, Lucian Msamati, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Michelle Asante, Kehinde Fadipe, Okezie Morro, Silas Carson, David Ajala, Joel Kangudi, Steve Toussaint and Damola Adelaja. Jenny Jules won the 2010 Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in this production.

Ruined ran during the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2010.

It ran at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts through April 30, 2011.

A production in Toronto, Ontario at the Berkeley Street Theatre in 2011 starred Sterling Jarvis and Yanna McIntosh.[6]

Ruined had its Australian premiere by THAT Production Company in Ipswich, Queensland in 2013. It was directed and designed by Timothy Wynn and produced by Cassandra Ramsay, as a part of the Ipswich Festival. The production featured many actors who had fled the Congolese War and had relocated to South-East Queensland. Lynn Nottage sent a personal message to the team, encouraging the production's premiere. The production was included in THAT Production Company's nomination for a Groundling Award, for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Queensland.

Critical response[edit]

Ben Brantley in his The New York Times review, wrote: "Ms. Nottage, the wide-ranging and increasingly confident author of Intimate Apparel and Fabulation or, the Re-Education of Undine, hooks her audience with promises of a conventionally structured, purposefully plotted play, stocked with sympathetic characters and informative topical detail. She delivers on those promises. Yet a raw and genuine agony pulses within and finally bursts through this sturdy framework, giving Ruined an impact that lingers beyond its well-shaped, sentimental ending. . . . Ms. Nottage has endowed the frail-looking Sophie, as well as the formidable Mama, with a strength that transforms this tale of ruin into a clear-eyed celebration of endurance."[7]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Pulitzer Prize[8]
  • Pulitzer Prize for Drama - Winner
Drama Desk Awards[9]
Outer Critics Circle Award[10]
  • Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play – Winner
  • Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) – Peter Kaczorowski (nomination)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Play – Saidah Arrika Ekulona (nomination)
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – Condola Rashad (nomination)
Drama League Award[11]
  • Distinguished Production of a Play (nomination)
  • Distinguished Performance Award, Saidah Arrika Ekulona (nomination)
Lucille Lortel Award[12]
  • Outstanding Play (Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre, Producer; Lynn Nottage, Playwright) – Winner
  • Outstanding Director (nomination)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress – Saidah Arrika Ekulona Winner
Obie Awards[13]
  • Best New American Play Winner
  • Performance
Quincy Tyler Bernstine Winner
Saidah Arrika Ekulona Winner
Russell Gebert Jones Winner

In print[edit]

Theatre Communications Group has published the script. Ruined began stocking in stores November 1, 2009.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth."Lynn Nottage's Ruined Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama", playbill.com, April 20, 2009
  2. ^ "Lynn Nottage Earns the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Ruined", goodmantheatre.org, accessed May 13, 2009
  3. ^ News Release, RuinedGoodman Theatre, October 16, 2008
  4. ^ Jones, Kenneth.Pulitzer Winner Ruined Gets Six Extra Weeks at MTC", playbill.com, April 30, 2009
  5. ^ Jones, Kenneth.After a Raft of Raves, Ruined Gets Two-Week Extension in NYC", playbill.com, February 11, 2009
  6. ^ "Ruined: An earthquake of acting that will shake you". The Globe and Mail, January 21, 2011.
  7. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theatre Review: War’s Terrors, Through a Brothel Window",The New York Times, February 11, 2009
  8. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes| Drama" pulitzer.org, October 25, 2011
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew."Ruined and Billy Elliot Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards" playbill.com, May 17, 2009
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew."Billy Elliot, Carnage, Ruined and Avenger Are Outer Critics Circle Award Winners", May 11, 2009
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew."Billy, Carnage, Hair, Blithe and Rush Win Drama League Awards" playbill.com, May 15, 2009
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew.Ruined, Fela!, Our Town and Humor Abuse Among Lucille Lortel Award Winners", playbill.com, May 3, 2009
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Groff, Nottage, Sondheim, Cromer, Pisoni, Korins Among 2009 OBIE Award Winners" playbill.com, May 18, 2009

External links[edit]