Huntington Begins 2011
With Pulitzer Prize-Winning "Ruined"

The Huntington Theatre Company continues its 29th season with "Ruined," Lynn Nottage's gripping drama about finding courage, humor and hope in the midst of the Congo civil war. Directed by South Africa native Liesl Tommy, performances are set for January 7 – February 6. The ensemble cast features Tonye Patano (Showtime’s “Weeds”). 

Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, "Ruined" was extended multiple times Off Broadway and earned an Obie Award, the Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play (Manhattan Theatre Club, Goodman Theatre). "Ruined" is a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The cast at the Huntington features Oberon K.A. Adjepong, Pascale Armand , Jason Bowen, Carla Duran , Wendell Franklin, Zainab Jah , Joseph Kamal , Adesoji Odukogbe, Kola Ogundiran, Okieriete Onaodowan, Tonye Patano, Adrian Roberts, and Alvin Terry.
In 2004, Nottage traveled to East Africa to interview Congolese women fleeing the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She commented, “I was fueled by my desire to tell the story of war, but through the eyes of women, who as we know rarely start conflicts but inevitably find themselves right smack in the middle of them. I was interested in giving voice and audience to African women living in the shadows of war. I knew their stories weren’t being heard. I wanted to understand who they were beyond their status as victims. I was surprised by the number of women who readily wanted to share their stories, and by the end of the interviews, I realized that a war was being fought over the bodies of women. Rape was being used as a weapon to punish and destroy communities.”
In "Ruined," savvy business woman Mama Nadi knows how to survive in the midst of the Congo civil war: don’t take sides. She sells beers, and girls at her bar and brothel to any man who'll leave his gun at the door, shrewdly keeping the peace among the warring sides. Miners, merchants, and government and rebel soldiers drink, dance, and choose from her women, many “ruined” by rape and torture before they were pressed into prostitution. The good-time atmosphere of the canteen and Mama Nadi’s sharp wits can’t always protect her and her girls, but their courage, humor, and hope live on as they seek a path to the future in this gripping drama.
"Ruined" premiered in London at the Almeida Theatre in April 2010 and is touring several U.S. regional theatres in 2010-2011. Nottage's other plays include "Intimate Apparel" (New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play; Roundabout Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory); "Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine" (Obie Award; Playwrights Horizons, London’s Tricycle Theatre); "Crumbs from the Table of Joy;" "Las Meninas;" "Mud, River, Stone;" "Por’knockers;" and "POOF!." Her many honors include the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play, the 2007 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, and the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama.

Variety called "Ruined" “A work that speaks eloquently of the monstrous acts bred by war, and of the courage and compromises required to survive them" while The Wall Street Journal added  “'Ruined' leaves no doubt that the author is one of the best playwrights that we have.”
Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois said, “The first time I saw 'Ruined,' I was simply unable to hold back tears. Lynn Nottage has created an astonishing, enduring piece of writing that should be seen by everyone. The play is unflinching, emotionally cathartic, and absolutely revelatory.”

Special Events:

Out & About Club
Thursday, January 13, following the 7:30 p.m. performance
Join GLBT audience members at a post-show party. Use code OUT to purchase discounted tickets at $40 to this performance online.
Friday, January 14, 10 a.m. performance
Friday, January 21, 8 p.m. performance
For Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons. To learn more, call 617 273-1558.

Audio Described
Friday, January 14, 10 a.m. performance
Saturday, January 20, 2 p.m. performance
For blind and low-vision patrons. To learn more, call 617 273-1558.
Actors Forum
Friday, January 14, following the 10 a.m. performance
Thursday, January 20, following the 7:30 p.m. performance
Wednesday, February 2, following the 2 p.m. performance
Participating cast members answer questions from the audience.
Humanities Forum
Sunday, January 23, following the 2 p.m. performance
A post-performance talk exploring the context and significance of the play.

Post-Show Audience Conversation
Following most performances, Huntington staff-led post-show audience conversations will be co-facilitated by local scholars, aid workers, journalists, and other experts on the issues featured in the play. After most Tuesday - Friday, Saturday matinee, and Sunday matinee performances throughout the season. Free with a ticket to the performance.

For tickets and information, stop by the box office at 264 Huntington Avenue , call 617-266-0800, or visit

-- OnStage Boston



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