This weekend I saw Ruined at Arena Stage in DC. I’d been waiting over a year to see this Pulitzer prize winner – ever since I first heard about it, really.

Playwright Lynn Nottage wrote the piece after traveling to Africa to interview refugee women who had been victimized by the war in Congo. She came back with their stories and created Ruined.

I had extremely high expectations for the play and wasn’t disappointed. Even though it could be considered an activist piece, it is first a great piece of theater, skillfully written, elevated and intensified by Nottage’s extensive research.

Each Friday Arena is offering a post-performance panel discussion open to the public, discussing the many themes rising from the play. I attended “Out from the Margins: Exploring the Refugee Experience” and there are more great topics coming up.

If you get the chance to see this play, either during its DC run or later, do it. Everyone can learn from it and be changed by it. But I especially recommend it to those of you interested in Africa or the issues of forced migration, human trafficking, and/or violence against women.

(Ruined runs at Arena Stage through June 5.)

2 Responses to “Ruined”
  1. Darrell says:

    Thanks for the review. For a film version with similar themes I recommend “Beyond Borders” with Angelina Jolie, and “Tears of The Sun” with Bruce Willis. It would be interesting to see a play or film that questions why all these genecidal wars, especially in Africa.

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  1. […] the subject of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined by Lynn Nottage which I briefly discuss here. It is also a part of the book and documentary film Half the Sky. You can view a Global Fistula Map […]

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