Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 14 February 2011 23:36

Ruined and after

Written by Bob Wilcox
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Director: Ron Himes
  • Dates: February 9 - March 6, 2011
Ruined and after
theblackrep.org

In current and recent wars in Africa, civilians suffer more deaths than the armies, along with mutilations and rape – rape sometimes with a knife or bayonet as the instrument of rape, leaving the woman permanently damaged and in pain – or, as they say, ruined.

Ruined is the title that Lynn Nottage has given to her play about such a war. She sets it in bar in a small mining town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bar doubles as a brothel. The miners come there for liquor, music, talk, and other comforts. So do soldiers, both government and rebel.

Mama Nadi owns the bar. In it, her word is law, a fact made abundantly clear in the commanding figure of Andrea Frye. She is, in a way, as much a protector of her girls as their exploiter. They are safer in Mama's than they would be in the countryside, where they have already suffered rape and worse.

One of them, Sophie, is indeed ruined, so horribly so that she cannot function sexually in the brothel. Fortunately, she, in the person of Evann Jones, has a lovely voice and entertains the customers, singing with the bar's combo, James Belk on percussion and Dennis Brock on guitar. Jones's is a sweet, poignant, and fierce performance.

McClain plays Josephine, the senior girl in Mama's stable. Her eager exuberance with the customers could make you think she enjoys her life, until you catch her private moments.

In a shattering monologue, Sharisa Whatley details the sufferings of Salima, a happy young wife and mother, captured, raped, held as a slave, finally returned to her village to be rejected by her husband and her community. It's another memorable performance by Whatley.

Yet that husband, now in the army, comes looking for her. He's played by Chauncy Thomas with regret, tenderness and love. This thread of the story moves us beyond a mere recounting of war's general horrors into a deeper exploration of the profound pain they bring to very real individuals. I wish Ruined did more of that.

Playwright Nottage gives us a ray of hope in the evolving relationship between Mama Nadi and the man who sells her the bar's supplies. He's played by J. Samuel Davis, and he and Frye, survivors so far, negotiate their way to perhaps a happy ending.

Joe Hanrahan plays another survivor, a white diamond merchant. Ryan Cunningham, Phillip Dixon, Erik Kilpatrick, Kelvin Roston, Jr., and Theo Wilson are, variously, miners and soldiers. Under Ron Himes' direction, they make up a powerful ensemble. Regina Garcia's set, Kathy Perkins' lights, Daryl Harris's costumes, and Robin Weatherall's sound design envelop the action in a convincing environment.

Ruined is a painful human document, presented with heart and conviction.

Additional Info

  • Director: Ron Himes
  • Dates: February 9 - March 6, 2011

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

2 users and 8653 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook