Pulitzer-Winning Congolese-Set Drama Ruined Begins Huntington Run Jan. 7

Pulitzer-Winning Congolese-Set Drama Ruined Begins Huntington Run Jan. 7
The Huntington Theatre Company production of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Ruined, starring Tonye Patano as brothel proprietress Mama Nadi, begins performances Jan. 7 in Boston.

Oberon K.A. Adjepong and Tonye Patano
Oberon K.A. Adjepong and Tonye Patano Photo by Kevin Berne

Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed, The Good Negro) directs the Congolese-set drama about a war-torn land and the power of the human spirit that will officially open Jan. 12 and run through Feb. 6.

The Huntington run is a co-presentation with the La Jolla Playhouse, where Ruined played an earlier engagement, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Feb. 25-April 10).

In addition to Patano ("Weeds"), the cast features Zainab Jah (Eclipsed) as Josephine, Carla Duran (110 in the Shade) as Sophie, Okieriete Onaodowan (Neighbors) as Simon, Oberon K.A. Adjepong as Christian, Pascale Armand as Salima, Jason Bowen as Fortune, Wendell Franklin as Jerome, Joseph Kamal (Dinner at Eight) as Mr. Harhari, Kola Ogundiran as Laurent and Adrian Roberts as Commander Osembenga. Alvin Terry and Adesoji Odukogbe are musicians for the production.

Randy Duncan, who choreographed the original Off-Broadway production of Ruined, repeats his work for the Huntington. The production has scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Kathleen Geldard, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, and original music, sound design and musical direction by Broken Chord Collective.

In addition to earning the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Ruined was presented with a host of honors including the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Music for a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, two Lucille Lortel Awards including Outstanding Play and four OBIE Awards including Best New American Play. Here's how the Huntington bills the work: "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."

Tickets are available by calling (617) 266-0800 or by visiting Huntington Theatre. The Huntington Theatre Company performs on the Boston University main stage, located at 264 Huntington Avenue in Boston, MA.

Zainab Jah, Carla Duren and Pascale Armand
Zainab Jah, Carla Duren and Pascale Armand Photo by Kevin Berne
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