Photo Flash: Pacific Theatre presents a Dark Glass Theatre production RUINED by Lynn Nottage
What is justified when survival is on the line?_ In a small town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is a bar called Mama Nadi's. As a vicious civil war drags on, young women find their way to Mama's, and to safety - of a kind. Nadi both protects and profits off the bodies of women who have become casualties of violence, ensuring survival by catering to both sides of the conflict... but how long can she keep the war outside her walls?
Pacific Theatre is proud to present Ruined, the inaugural full-scale production from Dark Glass Theatre. Angela Konrad, Ruined's director, hopes to highlight both sides of Mama and her employees' difficult choices. "I am delighted to present Dark Glass Theatre's first professional show in my theatre home," says Konrad. "It is a privilege to tell this beautiful story of resilient women whose bodies are being used as a battlefield in the ongoing conflict in the Congo. We've assembled an outstanding cast who are not just passionate about this incredible play but also about creating awareness about sexual violence and in particular, the situation in Central Africa."
Playwright Lynn Nottage developed Ruined during her time in the DRC, where she interviewed girls and women about their experiences during the war. The play received the Pulitzer Prize for drama upon its debut in 2009, and has only grown more relevant in the ensuing decade. Nottage describes her play as being about 'survivors, not victims', and the twinned strength and fragility of her subjects is a powerful antidote to the sometimes distant and clinical portrayal of the Congolese conflict in western media.
Actor Tom Pickett provides a ray of hope as Mama Nadi's suitor Christian, a traveling salesman and amateur poet. "As Christian in the play, I want Mama Nadi to know I love her, and that that love is unconditional and true. It is the difference between existing and living." Ruined brings a complex story of pain and hope to the Pacific Theatre stage: a testament to endurance in a world that is torn, but never broken.
Playing Jan 26 - Feb 17. 8pm Wednesdays-Saturdays with 2pm Saturdaymatinees at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave. Pay-what-you-can preview Jan 25 at 8pm. For tickets ($20-36.50, HST not incl.) call 604.731.5518 or visit pacifictheatre.org.
Photos by Emily Cooper.
Pictured: CJ Jackman Zigante. Photo by Emily Cooper.