RUINED Original Cast and Crew Reunites for Intiman Production, 7/9


Lynn Nottage's Ruined, a powerful portrayal of the triumph of the human spirit in a war-torn country, will be co-produced this season by Intiman Theatre (opening July 9, 2010) and the Geffen Playhouse (opening September 15, 2010), the only two theatres in the country to host original cast members and the design team of director Kate Whoriskey's acclaimed world-premiere production.

The company will be led by Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Salima), Cherise Boothe (Josephine), Russell G. Jones (Christian) and Condola Rashad (Sophie), all of whom originated their roles in the Goodman Theatre/Manhattan Theatre Club world-premiere production, and Portia, who took over the leading role of Mama Nadi during the extended run in New York.

Ruined is the most acclaimed play of 2009, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Obie, Lucille Lortel Award, New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award. 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.

"Both Lynn and I are thrilled to go back into the rehearsal room with Ruined for this
co-production between Intiman and the Geffen," says Whoriskey, who collaborated on the development of the play with Nottage for five years and staged the world-premiere production at the Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. "Ruined was a truly momentous experience for all of us who worked on it, and we are excited to bring back so many of our close collaborators-and artists who are joining us for the first time-to make new explorations into the heart and complexities of the play and the stories that inspired our work."

Performance Schedules and Ticketing Information

In Seattle, where Ruined launches Intiman's new International Cycle, performances will begin on Friday, July 2 and continue through Sunday, August 8 at Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer Street at Seattle Center. The opening night is Friday, July 9 at 8 pm. Intiman's production is sponsored in part by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

Tickets are available from or 206.269.1900. Single ticket prices range from $25 to $50 for Wednesday-Sunday performances. All adult tickets on Tuesday nights are $25. Discounts are available for groups and members of the military, and patrons age 25 and under can purchase tickets to any performance for $10. The pay-what-you-can performance for Ruined is Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 pm. Tickets will go on sale that day at noon and may now be purchased over the phone as well as in person; patrons can pay by credit card with a $10 minimum per ticket. Patrons will be able to purchase standing room, standby and rush tickets for every performance, pending availability.

In Los Angeles, Ruined will run at the Geffen Playhouse from September 7 through October 17, with an official opening night of September 15. The Geffen Playhouse production is sponsored in part by International Medical Corps and Jewish World Watch.

Tickets to the Los Angeles production are currently available through subscription only. Beginning on July 20, single tickets will be available online at, at the Geffen Playhouse box office or via credit card phone order at (310) 208-5454. Ticket prices range from $35-$55 for preview performances and from $65-$85 for the regular run.

Ruined Production History

Ruined is the third collaboration between playwright Lynn Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey. The play began with an idea that they might work together on a new adaptation of Brecht's anti-war drama Mother Courage and Her Children that would be set in Congo, where a war over natural resources had been raging for years without attracting significant mainstream media attention-despite being the world's deadliest conflict since World War II, with more than 5.4 million people dead. The violence of the war in Congo is targeted against women and girls, perpetuated through the use of rape as a weapon.

In 2004, Nottage and Whoriskey traveled together to the bordering country of Uganda, where they spent two weeks interviewing Congolese women who had fled their country and found refuge. Inspired by these women, they abandoned the idea of adapting Mother Courage in order to tell a story that had not yet been heard-a story that would be specific to the complexity of what is happening now. The next year, Nottage returned and interviewed refugees fleeing armed conflicts in Congo, Uganda, Sudan and Somalia. Together with Whoriskey and their collaborators, she developed the play over five years.

Originally commissioned by the Goodman Theatre, Ruined had its world premiere in Chicago in late 2008. A co-production with the Manhattan Theatre Club, it moved to off-Broadway in January 2009, extending eight times during its acclaimed run.

Cast and Creative Team

Lynn Nottage (Playwright) is the author of Intimate Apparel; Crumbs from the Table of Joy (both produced at Intiman Theatre); Fabulation; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por'knockers; and Poof!. In addition to her awards for Ruined, she is the recipient of numerous honors including a 2007 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant." She sits on the Dramatists Guild Council, 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.

Kate Whoriskey (Director) is in her first season as Intiman's Artistic Director. She has directed the world premieres of three plays by Lynn Nottage: Ruined (Goodman Theatre/Manhattan Theatre Club), Fabulation (Playwrights Horizons) and Intimate Apparel (South Coast Repertory). Her other credits include the world premieres of Julia Cho's The Piano Teacher at South Coast Rep (which she also directed at Vineyard Theatre) and Massacre by José Rivera at the LAByrinth Theatre Company, of which she is a member. She most recently directed the first revival of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker on Broadway.

Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Salima) won the Obie Award and Clarence Derwent Award for her performance in the original production of Ruined. She recently made her Broadway debut in Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or the vibrator play and can be seen in the film Rachel Getting Married.

Cherise Boothe (Josephine) was seen in August Wilson's 20th Century at the Kennedy Center, where she played Mattie in Joe Turner's Come and Gone and Grace in The Piano Lesson. Her other credits include Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders (Theatre for a New Audience), King Hedley II (Signature Theatre) and the film Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee.

Russell G. Johnson (Christian), a member of LAByrinth Theatre Company since 1995, has originated roles in the company's productions of A View from 151st Street at The Public Theater and Our Lady of 121st Street at Union Square Theatre, among other credits. He received an Obie Award for his performance in the original production of Ruined.

Portia (Mama Nadi) took over the role of Mama Nadi during the extended run of Ruined at Manhattan Theatre Club. Her other theatre credits include Zooman and the Sign for Signature Theatre, The Member of the Wedding at the Young Vic in London, and Our Lady of 121st St. for the LAByrinth Theatre. Her television credits include Ugly Betty and 30 Rock.

Condola Rashad (Sophie) made her New York debut in Ruined after originating the role of Sophie at the Goodman Theatre. She has also been seen in Tambourines to Glory with True Colors Theatre Company and Pearl at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The full company also includes 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).

The creative team includes scenic designer Derek McLane, costume designer Paul Tazewell and lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski. The production features sound design and music direction by Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen and original music by Dominic Kanza. The choreographer is Warren Adams, the dialect coach is Judith Shahn and the fight choreographer is Geoffrey Alm. The production supervisor is Donald Fried and the stage manager is Mary K Klinger. For biographies of the company, visit

Intiman Theatre and the Geffen Playhouse

Intiman Theatre's core commitment is to make theatre that is relevant to our time. It is celebrated as an activist theatre that produces ambitious and exciting productions of classics and new plays. Through its work on stage, innovative community engagement programs and a statewide arts education program, Intiman fosters conversation and debate among its audiences, students and people with limited access to the arts. Guided by the vision of Artistic Director Kate Whoriskey and Managing Director Brian Colburn, Intiman supports the development of new works, interdisciplinary and international collaborations, and diverse voices. Founded in 1972, Intiman was awarded the 2006 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. For more information, please visit

The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and musicals, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company is helmed by Producing Director and President of the Board Gilbert Cates, Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit

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