Ruined

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Once in awhile you come across a play that tells a story that more people should hear.  Ruined would be that play. 

What goes on in Africa, on a daily basis, is really hard for any of us to wrap our arms around.  At least for me.   The random killings, the civil wars, the raping and pillaging of communities, the lack of respect for a human life.   People and countries around the world have sat back and watched.  I am not sure where you even begin to help.  Education would be a good start if you could make sure the youth isn't swept up with the rebels before they get to school.

Lynn Nottage, is the playwright of Ruined.  She is not only a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient she is also was granted a McArthur Genius Grant in 2007.  Ruined is a brilliant play that sheds some light into the atrocities that are happening in the Congo.

Ruined is a term for women that are raped.  Women that have been kidnapped by the rebels and gang raped who are then shunned by their families when they return to their homes and villages.  Why?  Because they are not ruined and the families have now basically lost face.  Perhaps that is why the rebels are using women as weapons of choice to fight their wars.  BTW, this is not one side of the rebels, it is both sides.  One side is worse than the other.  Nobody is doing right here. 

The play takes place in the Congo at a bar/whore house run by Mama.  This a place where the rebels put their guns down, enjoy a few beers and pay for sex.  As the play unfolds, we learn the stories of the 3 women who are working and living at Mama's place.  Their stories are gut wrenching.  Each scene tells more and more.  You can feel the tension build in the audience over the course of the play. 

Ruined certainly helps raise awareness about the raping, pillaging and genital mutilation that is happening in the wars across Africa.  It is a brilliant play that is well worth seeing.  The acting is superb and the tales of each of the characters will stick with you for a very long time.  We need to see more plays like this.