If only the atrocities could be closed forever between the covers of a script and put away. But last month, the United Nations threatened to withdraw military support in the Democratic Republic of Congo when its government took no action after the latest accounts of mass rape committed by its own soldiers. In November, 126 women were reportedly raped and two people killed in the eastern town and refugee area of Minova—the latest casualties in the country's ongoing battle with Rwanda-backed troops in the M23 rebellion.
The scenario depicted in Ruined, Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, still bears the curse of topicality. In a bar and brothel on the edge of a Congolese village, a morally complex Mother Courage figure tries to protect—and profit from—a trio of women who would otherwise be prey to the militias that claim and counterclaim the area. But is anyone really in control of the explosive mix of booze, sex, live ammunition and military monomania in Mama Nadi's bar? And once the first shot is fired, can anything survive?
Renowned director Rebecca Holderness returns to helm a production featuring Rozlyn Sorrell, Reanna Roane, John Allore and Sherida McMullan, on a Morag Charlton set. Brace yourself for a harrowing journey. —Byron Woods