“Ruined” Opens at NCCU’s University Theater

North Carolina Central University Department of Theatre will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Ruined,” by Lynn Nottage, on Feb. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. in the University Theater.

“Ruined,” set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the story of the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. This powerful play follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman who runs a shabby night spot in a small mining town. Rebel and government forces alike visit the spot for live music, cold beers and whiskey, a hot meal, Fanta orange soda — and the company of women. It is the lives of these women, caught in the devastating armed conflict as they work for Mama Nadi, that anchor the production, finding hope in a hopeless situation.

“Sadly, these women, who are human spoil, become pawns and direct victims of the Congolese War, with rape as a weapon of combat,” said Dr. Asabi, assistant professor in the Theatre Department and director of the play. “Their frustrations resound through Salima’s desperate cry, ‘Don’t fight your wars on my body.’ Thus, these raped victims become ruined — damaged goods — ostracized and demoralized, as if their plight is of their own making.”

Nottage’s play celebrates the courage projected by these women to bring a voice to their silent pain and unspeakable experiences. It is this spirit of triumph, magnified through music, song and dance, that leaves the audience thrilled, encouraged and hopeful.

The NCCU production includes Kammeran Giggers as Mama Nadi; Kayln Smith as Sophie, the latest girl to join Mama Nadi’s night spot; Tara-Whitney Rison as Salima, and Talisha Askew as Josephine .

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, call (919) 530-5170. Children under 4 are not admitted. This production includes mature content and language.

Note: Professor Asabi, the play’s director, goes by a single name.