La Jolla Playhouse presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, by Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel, Crumbs from the Table of Joy), directed by South Africa native Liesl Tommy, in the Mandell Weiss Theatre November 16 - December 19 (media night: Sunday, November 21 at 7:00 pm). Ruined is a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Huntington Theatre Company.
The cast features Oberon K.A. Adjepong as "Christian," Pascale Armand (Playhouse's The Love of Three Oranges) as "Salima," Jason Bowen as "Fortune," Carla Duran as "Sophie," Wendell Franklin as "Jerome," Zainab Jah as "Josephine," Joseph Kamal (Playhouse's Culture Clash's Zorro in Hell) as "Mr. Harari," Adesoji Odukogbe as "Musician 2," Kola Ogundiran as "Laurent," Okieriete Onaodowan as "Simon," Tonye Patano as "Mama Nadi," AdrIan Roberts as "Commander Osembenga" and Alvin Terry as "Musician 1."
The creative team includes: Liesl Tommy, Director; Clint Ramos (Playhouse's Most Wanted), Set Design; Kathleen Geldard, Costume Design; Lap Chi Chu, Lighting Design; Broken Chord Collective, Original Music, Sound Design and Musical Direction.
In a small town in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Mama Nadi runs a cozy brothel where a soldier can put down his weapon and spend the evening in the company of beautiful women - for a price. Mama Nadi both protects and profits from the young women who work for her, and she is determined to keep the war at bay and the money flowing at any cost. But it's the hope of these courageous women that ultimately prevails. Expertly navigating relationships and politics, Ruined is rich with humor and music, celebrating the triumph of the human spirit.
Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Ruined was extended multiple times off-Broadway and has earned numerous awards, including the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. Variety wrote that Nottage "has crafted a work that speaks eloquently of the monstrous acts bred by war, and of the courage and compromises required to survive them," while The Chicago Tribune raved, "Sincere, passionate, courageous and acutely argued, Ruined is a remarkable theatrical accomplishment." And according to the Wall Street Journal, "Ruined, in which [Nottage] shows us what things have come to in the bloody, brutal land that dares to call itself the Democratic Republic of Congo, leaves no doubt that the author...is one of the best playwrights that we have."
Tickets for Ruined are $31 - $66 and are available at The Playhouse Box Office: (858) 550-1010 or online at LaJollaPlayhouse.org. Ruined is sponsored by Deutsche Bank and Bozeman Group, LLC
Lynn Nottage won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Ruined, as well as the Obie and Drama Desk Awards for Best New Play. She is also the author of Intimate Apparel, which received the 2004 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play, the Outer Critics Circle Best Play Award, the John Gassner Award, the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg 2004 New Play Award and the 2004 Francesca Primus Award. Her next play, Fabulation (Obie Award), was first produced by Playwrights Horizons and recently received a highly acclaimed production at the Tricycle Theatre in London. Her other plays, including Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Mud, River, Stone and Las Meninas, have been produced at theaters throughout the country, including South Coast Rep, ALLIANCE THEATRE, Second Stage, Vineyard Theatre, Crossroads Theatre Company, Intiman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Yale Rep and The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, among many others. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for literary excellence and the MacArthur "Genius" Award, as well as fellowships from Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists and the New York Foundation for the Arts, where she is a member of the Artists Advisory Board. Ms. Nottage is an alumna of New Dramatists and a graduate oF Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is currently a visiting lecturer.
Liesl Tommy's projects include Stick Fly at Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Eclipsed at McCarter Theatre, The Good Negro at The Public Theatre and Sundance Institute, Charlayne Woodard's Flight at City Theatre, A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep, Angela's Mixtape at Synchronicity Theatre, Small Tragedy and The Medea Project at NYU Tisch/Strasberg Institute, Camino Real at Trinity Rep Conservatory, Isaac and Ishmael at Chautauqua Theatre Institute, Uncle Vanya and Our Lady of 121st Street at Juilliard, Split Ends at La MAMA, Hydriotaphia at Trinity Rep/ Brown Consortium; Misterioso 119 at Berkshire Theatre Festival and Act French Festival/Lark Theatre, and Lynn Nottage's A Stone's Throw at Women's Project. Ms. Tommy has taught directing at the Graduate Directing program at Brown University/Trinity Rep and acting at NYU Tisch. She was awarded a NEA/TCG Directors Grant and the NYTW Casting/Directing Fellowship. She is a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and the Lincoln Centre Director's Lab.
The nationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including Big River, The Who's Tommy, Thoroughly Modern Millie, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Jersey Boys, The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations and Memphis. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre, and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-Art Theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.