Original Off-Broadway Cast Brings Acclaimed Ruined to the Geffen Playhouse Sept. 7

News   Original Off-Broadway Cast Brings Acclaimed Ruined to the Geffen Playhouse Sept. 7
Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Ruined, featuring members of the original Off-Broadway cast and creative team, begins performances Sept. 7 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Condola Rashad, Cherise Boothe and Quincy Tyler Bernstine
Condola Rashad, Cherise Boothe and Quincy Tyler Bernstine Photo by Joan Marcus

The Congolese-set drama arrives at the Geffen following a run at Seattle's Intiman Theatre in July. Ruined will officially open at the Geffen Sept. 15 and run through Oct. 17.

Intiman artistic director Kate Whoriskey (The Miracle Worker), who also helmed the world premiere of Ruined at the Goodman Theatre and Off-Broadway, directs the Intiman-Geffen co-production.

Portia, who assumed the role of brothel keeper Mama Nadi during the Off-Broadway run, leads a cast that also features Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Salima), Cherise Boothe (Josephine), Russell G. Jones (Christian) and Condola Rashad (Sophie).

Newly added for the production are Tongayi Chirisa (Jerome Kisembe/Soldier), Carl Cofield (Fortune/Soldier/Miner), Simon Shabantu Kashama (Guitarist), Tom Mardirosian (Mr. Harari), Ron McBee (Pascal/Soldier), David St. Louis (Commander Osembenga/Soldier) and Stephen Tyrone Williams (Simon/Soldier/Miner/Aid Worker). Understudies are Victoire Charles and Mustafa S. Shakir.

Original creative team members, including scenic designer Derek McLane, costume designer Paul Tazewell and lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski, re-created their work for the co-production. Warren Adams choreographs. According to the Intiman: "The play is set in a small mining town in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mama Nadi both protects and profits from the young women who seek refuge in her rain forest bar and brothel. Expertly navigating relationships and politics, this remarkable story is rich with humor, music, hope and humanity."

Originally presented by the Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club, Ruined opened Off-Broadway in 2009, where it extended eight times. Nottage's play earned unanimous praise in the press and garnered the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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.

For tickets visit GeffenPlayhouse.

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