Berkeley Rep proudly brings you Ruined, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. This powerful new play provides a bleak yet beautiful look at the lives of women in a land ruled by whiskey and bayonets. As civil war ravages the Congo, the lucky ones find a home—and a regular meal—in a ramshackle building that serves as both brothel and refuge. Whether merchant, miner or soldier, the man you meet in the morning may be your enemy by sundown. Yet all of them come through Mama’s door for booze and a bit of comfort. Mama Nadi protects her girls with rough compassion, even as she profits from their bodies. This celebrated script from Lynn Nottage tells an intense and important tale filled with humanity, hope and unexpected humor. When Mama talks, you better listen.
Lynn Nottage won the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined, as well as Obie, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards. A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, she also penned Intimate Apparel, the nation’s most produced play in 2005/06.
Liesl Tommy, a South African native who grew up under apartheid, is known for working with young African-American writers like Eisa Davis, Danai Gurira and Tracey Scott Wilson.
“Nottage finds hope for us all in the resilience of a few…Ruined seethes with the brute energy of combat and soars with hard-won compassion and love…Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winner and a dynamic cast make the drama as engrossing as it is thought-provoking…More remarkably, Nottage finds a ray of hope, even joy, for the women and men trapped in this ongoing nightmare. The pain and the glory make an indelible impression in director Liesl Tommy’s richly textured staging.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Undeniable…Randy Duncan’s choreography is explosive. The cast is uniformly riveting. Each actress sensitively delivers her own aria of suffering [and] for her part, Patano captures Mama’s gentleness as well as her steel. She’s tough enough to suggest a diamond hardened under pressure but soft enough so that the play’s rare moments of uplift ring true. Sophie’s singing has a transcendent quality that suggests the healing power of art. Christian’s mockery of the butchers that plague the land is unexpectedly funny. And an unexpected romance has tearful charm.”—San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
“Emotionally gripping…The wonder of Ruined emerges in moments of beauty—whether in a song performed by Sophie (backed by musicians Adesoji Odukogbe and Alvin Terry), an athletic dance performed by the male patrons of Mama Nadi’s (choreographed by Randy Duncan) or a flash of brave compassion from a surprising source. In the face of mankind at its worst, there can be sparks of beauty and enlightenment, of fleeting joy amid horror. Those sparks—much like extraordinary pieces of theater—are what we aim for.”—Chad Jones’ Theater Dogs
Apple and Intel stop using conflict minerals
During the last week of Ruined performances, major tech companies stop buying conflict minerals.
Tricks of the jungle
Learn the tricks of the jungle, like how to make actors sweaty and muddy.
What actors really drink onstage
Think that’s really whiskey? Think again! Find out what the actors really drink in Ruined.