Ruined on Broadway Is a Twinkle in MTC's Eye

News   Ruined on Broadway Is a Twinkle in MTC's Eye
Will Manhattan Theatre Club mount Lynn Nottage's Ruined — a Pulitzer Prize winner that had a long MTC run Off-Broadway in 2008-09 — on Broadway?

Playwright Lynn Nottage
Playwright Lynn Nottage Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The New York Times reported that MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow indicated such a thing for the "near future," so we reached out to the busy Meadow.

No, she said, Ruined is not on the "front-burner" for the not-for-profit company, which operates a theatre Off-Broadway (City Center Stage I, where Ruined made its New York City premiere) and on Broadway (the Samuel J. Friedman, where Good People is playing an acclaimed, extended run).

But, Meadow said, MTC has a tradition of revisiting its earlier Off-Broadway hits on Broadway (Collected Stories and Sight Unseen are two examples), and she would like to see Ruined at the Friedman "down the road." There are no active plans to schedule it soon, however.

Kate Whoriskey directed Ruined as a co-production for Chicago's Goodman Theatre and MTC. It began in Chicago in fall 2008 and moved to New York in 2009, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that spring. During the long MTC run of the play, commercial producers eyed the production, but a Broadway move did not transpire.

Ruined concerns women finding power and a sense of themselves during a time of civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A film version is in the works. Meadow told that her door is open for new works by Nottage, and that she's looking forward to Second Stage Theatre's upcoming Off-Broadway world premiere of Nottage's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, which begins April 6.

The MTC run of Ruined was extended eight times. By close, in September 2009, it played 22 preview performances and 238 regular performances.

Ruined was the most acclaimed new play of 2009, having received the following awards: the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 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, four Obie Awards including Best New American Play and awards for cast members Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Russell G. Jones, a Theatre World Award for cast member Condola Rashad and the Clarence Derwent Award for cast member Quincy Tyler Bernstine.

According to MTC at the time, Ruined is described as such: "Set in a small mining town in Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful play follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?"

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