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Ruined: press release

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(photo by Leo Ticheli)

RUINED: Cell phones, rape headline a powerful play set in the Congo

Who: City Equity Theatre and the Aldridge Repertory Theatre partner for their companies’ first-time co-production to bring “Ruined” to the Birmingham stage in 2013’s only professional production.

What: Lynn Nottage’s play Ruined won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama, as well as awards from the OBIEs, the NY Outer Circle Critics, and Lucille Lortel Award for Best Drama in that year.  Ruined has garnered world-wide attention for bringing to the forefront two issues that affect millions of people: (A) How Coltan, used in the manufacturing of cell phones, has kept civil war alive, and (B) how rape of has been used as a weapon of war against 400,000 women in the Congo

When: March 1-17, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. General tickets, $22/Students or groups of 10 or more, $15. Opening Night, February 28th: A fundraising event for The Footprints Foundation, an organization that works to provide surgeries for victims of such sexual assaults and improve healthcare for women and infants in  the Congo. Tickets are $100 and are tax-deductible.

Where: The Martha Moore Sykes Studio of the Virginia Samford Theatre.

Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined has garnered world-wide attention for bringing to the forefront two problems that affect millions of people: (A) How obscure and rare minerals used in the manufacturing of cell phones have kept civil war alive in the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than a decade, and (B) How approximately 400,000 women (by the United Nations’ estimation) have been systematically and brutally raped in the nation as an institutionalized weapon of war.

This play isn’t only insightful, it’s relevant all over the world. “Everybody who has a cell phone, particularly a Samsung phone, is remotely part of this conflict. Coltan is used in cell phones and smart phones,” shares Cheryl Hall, an assistant professor of theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who is co-directing the Birmingham production. “The civil war of the Congo is more than a war about who controls the country; it’s about who controls the minerals. Now rape is being used as a weapon of war.”

The effects of war have been devastating in so many ways, adds co-director Jonathan Fuller. “When I learned what’s been going on in the Congo and how long it’s been happening, I was horrified,” said Fuller.

Ruined is about the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. Set in a small mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful play follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting, or profiting from, the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?

City Equity Theatre and The Aldridge Repertory Theatre partner for their companies’ first-time co-production to bring this issue-oriented play to the Birmingham stage in 2013’s only professional production in the United States. This play, co-directed by Jonathan Fuller and Cheryl Hall, will run February 28-March 17 at the Martha Moore Sykes Studio of the Virginia Samford Theatre.

Opening Night — a fundraising event for The Footprints Foundation, and the Center Medical St. Vincent hospital in Bakuva, Dem. Rep of the Congo that works to improve healthcare for women and infants. — is February 28th. Tickets are $100 and are tax-deductible for this event. “Ruined” officially begins March 1st and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. until March 17th at the Martha Moore Sykes Studio of the Virginia Samford Theatre. Tickets may be purchased by phone at (205) 251.1206 or online at http://www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org.

City Equity Theatre is Birmingham’s preeminent professional Actor’s Equity Association Company. Its mission is to enrich theatre artists’ process and the community’s life by producing provocative modern and classical plays that enlighten the human condition.

Aldridge Repertory Theatre, Inc. (ART) was officially organized in November 1984. ART, named in honor of the late Ira Aldridge, became incorporated in the state of Alabama in October 1988. Its mission is to identify, cultivate and showcase multi-cultural artistic excellence.

For more information, please call (205) 951-3029. You may also visit http://www.aldridgerepertorytheatre.org, http://www.cityequitytheatre.org, and http://www.footprints-foundation.org.