"SUPERB! Huntington brings Pulitzer-winning Ruined to jolting life!"— The Boston Globe

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 to any man who'll leave his gun at the door. The good-time atmosphere of the canteen and her sharp wits can't always protect her and her girls, but their courage, humor, and hope live on in this gripping drama.



  • Lynn Nottage on Ruined

    Six years ago, I traveled to East Africa to interview Congolese women fleeing the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 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.


  • The Music of Ruined

    Music can be incorporated into a play for a variety of reasons: to set the tone of a particular scene, to give performances a rich, emotional underscoring, or to give audiences a sharper look at the setting of a particular play.


  • A Weapon of War: Rape in the Congo

    Despite the official end of the Congo wars in 2002, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was recently named by a UN official as the “Rape Capital of the World.” Over 200,000 women have been raped and they are still not safe.


Press Reviews

Jump to: Features
    "SUPERB! Huntington brings Pulitzer-winning Ruined to jolting life! In a new production, director Liesl Tommy has drawn fully committed performances from the superb cast. As Salima, Pascale Armand turns in a powerful, heartbreaking performance." — The Boston Globe
    "Powerful! Vibrant! Director Liesl Tommy keeps the action moving at a brisk pace, assisted greatly by a talented cast, vibrant choreography, and authentic, percussion-heavy Central African music. Tonye Patano is a wonder. She shines throughout, particularly in tender, humor-filled scenes with a great Oberon K.A. Adjepong." — Boston Herald
    "Powerful Ruined stands tall in a vibrant Boston premiere! Nottage's writing sings!"The Boston Phoenix
    "UPLIFTING PERFORMANCES! Lynn Nottage has hit her target. Ruined flies!"Tab/Community News
    "Powerfully emotional! Every performance is vividly alive, and Tonye Patano is extraordinary. Do not miss Ruined!" — Joyce Kulhawik
    "The [La Jolla Playhouse/Huntington Theatre Company/Berkeley Rep] production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama gives full force to Nottage's tale. Ruined is a propulsive, engrossing story, and director Liesl Tommy's music-laced staging teases out the piece's redemptive spirit, its defiant flashes of humor, and its surprising sense of romance among the ruins. In the show's most searing moments, the impact is unmistakable.

    "The potent Tonye Patano (a star of TV's Weeds) gives Mama a gloss of warm hospitality that quickly can turn bristling and officious — long-festering defenses against the pain she's seen. As Josephine, Zainab Jah conveys oceans of rage through her chillingly dead expression; Pascal Armand has one of the play's most quietly arresting moments as Salima, and Carla Duren sings with haunting beauty as the delicate but unbowed Sophie." — San Diego Union-Tribune

    "A brilliant staging of an important, relevant play. Theatre-lovers could hardly ask for more." — North County Times

    "Ruined is the play to see this season! Director Liesl Tommy's staging is excellent, and the performances are terrific across the board. Ruined is the best play I've seen this year." — Angela Carone, NPR
More Reviews


  • Ruined Brings Congo Torment to Life

    From BU Today, Jan. 18, 2011: "In 2004 playwright Lynn Nottage traveled to the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of the Congo to hear the stories of some of the tens of thousands of women brutalized in the longest, deadliest civil conflict in modern times . . . "
  • Finding Light in the Dark

    From The Boston Globe, Jan. 2, 2011: "Nelson Mandela was a prisoner, not a president, when Liesl Tommy and her family emigrated from South Africa to the United States in the mid-1980s . . . "
  • Ruined Rises at Playhouse (pdf)

    From North County Times, Nov. 18, 2010: "When playwright Lynn Nottage flew to East Africa in 2004 to do research for a play, her original plan was to adapt flertolt Brecht's anti-war drama Mother Courage into a new play about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo . . . "
  • Hope Amid the Horror (pdf)

    From San Diego Union-Tribune, Nov. 14, 2010: "Battles of all kinds — tests of wills, clashes of conscience, private fights to salvage a shred of dignity — erupt in Ruined, Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the chaos visited upon lives in Central Africa . . . "
  • Playhouse's new drama shows lives Ruined by war (pdf)

    From La Jolla Light, Nov. 11, 2010: "With stories of war-torn countries and savage atrocities broadcast daily by the media, it's courageous when a playwright tackles those same subjects. Lynn Nottage won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize and many other awards for her war drama Ruined . . . "


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