Portia succeeds Saidah Arrika Ekulona in the role of Mama Nadi. Ekulona, who is fulfilling another professional commitment, played her final performance May 17. She originated the role in Chicago in fall 2008; Ruined is a world premiere co-production by Goodman Theatre in Chicago and Manhattan Theatre Club. (Between May 17-24, Mama Nadi — who runs a saloon on civil war-blighted Democratic Republic of Congo — was played by standby Victoire Charles.)
Kate Whoriskey directs the drama about a fierce businesswoman who rents out women in an effort to control the violence against them.
Portia received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Stephen Belber's McReele. She also appeared in Stephen Adly Guirgis' Our Lady of 121st Street for which she received Lucille Lortel, Drama League, and AUDELCO Award nominations.
Ruined has received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; the Best Play award from the New York Drama Critics Circle; two Lucille Lortel Awards, including Outstanding Play; the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play; a Theatre World Award; a Clarence Derwent Award; five Drama Desk Award nominations, including Outstanding New Play; and two Drama League nominations, including Distinguished Production of a Play.
Tickets for Ruined, which has been extended through June 28, are available via New York City Center box office, CityTix at (212) 581-1212 and www.nycitycenter.org.
For more information visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.