It’s official, Lynn Nottage’s play Ruined has won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The speculation that Nottage’s excellent drama about women in the Congo might take the prize began as soon as it began Off-Broadway in its production at the Manhattan Theatre Club in January. Ruined had its premiere in the autumn of 2008 at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, which commissioned the play. Both productions were directed by Kate Whoriskey, who had a significant role in helping Nottage develop the play. With any luck, the Pulitzer Prize win will help raise the profile of Ruined, which is an important play that exposes many of the horrors that women in Africa are facing in war-torn lands where they frequently become victims of violence and sexual abuse. Part of Nottage’s triumph, though, is that she takes this grim subject matter and still manages to write a play full of humor and hope. Although the MTC production’s future is far from certain, there is a possibility that Ruined could move to Broadway now that it has landed this prestigious prize (and it’s likely to rack up a few more now that awards season is upon us).
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