RUINED Ends PTC's 35th Season, Previews 5/20


Philadelphia Theatre Company concludes its 35th Anniversary Mainstage Season with the Philadelphia premiere of Ruined by Lynn Nottage, running May 20 through June 12, 2011 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Broad and Lombard Streets). Directed by Maria Mileaf, the production features the ensemble cast of Oberon K.A. Adjepong, Sean-Michael Bowles, Khris Davis, James Ijames, Kes Khemnu, Jamil A.C. Mangan, Paul Meshejian, Erika Rose, Heather Alicia Simms, Chandra Thomas and Keona Welsh.

Previews begin Friday, May 20 with opening night on Wednesday, May 25. Performances run Tuesday through Sunday until June 12. Tickets are $46 -$59, with discounts for students, seniors and groups. Tickets are available by calling the PTC Box Office at 215-985-0420 or visiting

In war-torn Congo, Mama Nadi keeps the peace between customers on both sides of the civil war by serving up cold beers and warm beds. Inspired by interviews conducted in Africa, this probing and courageous work celebrates human strength and dignity with humor and song in the face of immeasurable loss. Ruined is an engrossing and powerful story and a life-affirming triumph.
Ruined premiered in Chicago at The Goodman Theatre in fall 2008 and then moved to Manhattan Theatre Club in 2009 where it enjoyed a long run. 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 the New York cast members. A film version is in the works.

Lynn Nottage (Playwright) is the author of Intimate Apparel (produced by PTC in 2006), Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, and Las Meninas. They have been produced and developed at theatres both nationally and internationally, including the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Goodman Theatre, the Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Center Stage, South Coast Rep., Second Stage, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Intiman, Steppenwolf, Yale Rep., The Vineyard Theatre, The Women's Project, The Tricycle Theatre in London and others. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a 2007 MacArthur Fellowship (the "Genius" Award), an OBIE Award for playwriting, NY Drama Critics Circle Award, Best Play and John Gassner Outer Critics Circle awards, American Theatre Critics/Steinberg 2004 New Play Award, 2004 Francesca Primus Award, and 2 AUDELCO awards. She was awarded a 2007 Lucille Lortel Foundation Fellowship, 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Black Theatre Festival's August Wilson Playwriting Award and the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama. Her latest play, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, is currently running at New York's Second Stage Theatre.

Maria Mileaf (Director) returns to PTC where she directed The Story (Barrymore Award), Nickel & Dimed, Wit, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and How I Learned to Drive. Recent credits include A Body of Water and Going to St. Ives at Primary Stages, The Argument at The Vineyard, Lobster Alice at Playwright Horizons, Third at The Geffen Playhouse with Christine Lahti and Under the Lintel at The Dutchess Theatre in London's West End.

Oberon K.A. Adjepong (Christian) recreates the role he played at La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and Huntington Theatre. He appeared in The Piano Lesson and Our Town, both at Arden Theatre Company; Sango, earning an AUDELCO Award nomination, and OYA, both at the National Black Theatre; and Like I Say and Cellophane, at The Flea Theatre; and Timon of Athens and Coriolanus at The Shakespeare Theatre.

Sean-Michael Bowles (Simon) has appeared in The American Corner and The Blue Demon, both at Huntington Theatre, and A Behanding in Spokane at Alley Theatre. Other regional appearances were at LaMama Etc., Cherry Lane Theatre, Ohio Theatre, and Boston Playwrights Theatre.

Khris Davis (Rebel Soldier ) has performed at Walnut Street Theatre in Go Green, Theatre Horizon in Romeo and Juliet, and Quintessence Theatre Group. A frequent guest at Dudley Theatre, he has also been featured at Camden Repertory Theatre and Theatre Double.

James Ijames (Fortune) was a finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist as well as an Independent Reviewers of New England Award nominee for Best Supporting Actor in Ponies at Gloucester Stage Company. In addition to his appearance at PTC in Grey Gardens, he starred recently in Superior Donuts at Arden Theatre Company where he has also appeared in Romeo and Juliet, An Empty Plate at the Café du Grand Boeuf and James and the Giant Peach. Other regional credits include several productions at People's Light & Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, Mauckingbird Theatre Company and BCKSEET Productions.

Kes Khemnu (Kisembe) appeared in PTC's production of Wit directed by Maria Mileaf. He is a two-time Barrymore Award nominee for The Piano Lesson and Blue Door at Arden Theatre Company. He has been featured on Law & Order, Hack, and Third Watch, and performed numerous Shakespeare roles including Othello, Macduff and Puck at various regional theatres.

Jamil A. C. Mangan (Osembenga) is the recipient of AUDELCO Awards for Best Supporting Actor in What Would Jesus Do and Outstanding Ensemble for August Wilson's Women. He has appeared at Premiere Stages, Bleeker Street Theatre, and Manhattan Ensemble Theatre. In addition to regional performances at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Connecticut Free Shakespeare and Kumble Theatre, he has been seen locally at Arden Theatre Company in My Lord, What A Morning.

Paul Meshejian (Mr. Harari) is the founder and artistic director of PlayPenn. A nine-time Barrymore Award nominee, he has been a company member of People's Light & Theatre Company since 1989. He has appeared at PTC in Nickel & Dimed, Wit, Broken Glass and I Am A Man.
Erika Rose (Salima) received Helen Hayes nominations for Outstanding Ensemble for The Bluest Eye at Theatre Alliance and for Outstanding Leading Actress for Pretty Fire at African Continuum Theatre. In addition to appearances in Lenny and Lou and The Mineola Twins at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, she has been a frequent guest at The Shakespeare Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and Imagination Stage.

Heather Alicia Simms (Mama) is currently appearing at Soho Rep in their hit production of Born Bad. She has performed on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. She has appeared often at McCarter Theatre (In the Red and Brown Water and Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet) and The Public Theatre (Tarell McCraney's The Brother/Sisters Plays and Insurrection). Other regional appearances include Yale Repertory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse and SoHo Rep. She has co-starred on TV in The Good Wife and Ugly Betty.
Chandra Thomas (Josephine) has starred in productions at Classical Theatre of Harlem, Foundry Theatre, and Cherry Lane Theatre. Her regional credits include productions of Crowns at both Guthrie Theatre and Arkansas Rep, The Crucible at Cincinnati Playhouse, and No Child at Delaware Theatre Company.

Keona Welch (Sophie) received a 2002 Cappie nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and a 2004 Cappie Award for Best Female Actor in a Play. In New York she has appeared with Negro Ensemble Company in Savannah Black and Blue, Subway Love and Other Train Tales, and Edna the Otter. She has also performed at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London in The Winter's Tale and An Eve of Shakespeare Scenes.

Ruined features the return to PTC of designers Russell H. Champa (lights), Janus Stefanowicz (costumes), and sound designer Bart Fasbender as well as the local debut of set designer Antje Ellermann.

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company is a leading regional theater company whose mission is to produce, develop and present entertaining and imaginative contemporary theater focused on the American experience that both ignites the intellect and touches the soul. By developing new work through commissions, readings and workshops PTC generates projects that have a national impact and reach broad regional audiences. Under the leadership of Sara Garonzik as PTC's Producing Artistic Director since 1982, PTC supports the work of a growing body of diverse dramatists and takes pride in being a home to scores of nationally recognized artists who have participated in more than 130 world and Philadelphia premieres. PTC has received 45 Barrymore Awards and 147 nominations. In October 2007, PTC moved into a home of its own, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on Center City Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts, solidifying the Company's status as a major player on the American theater scene. In October 2010, Kathleen Nolan joined PTC as its Interim Managing Director.

For further information, please call 215-735-7356.


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