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RUINED Observes Congolese Independence Day with Special Talkback










RUINED, the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Lynn Nottage currently playing an extended engagement at Manhattan Theatre Club, will observe Congolese Independence Day with a special talkback following the performance on Tuesday, June 30 at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street).


The talkback will feature award-winning documentary filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson (The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo); Bukeni Waruzi, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo and DRC activist; and cast members from RUINED. The discussion will be moderated by MTC Artistic Associate Lisa McNulty.


The Democratic Republic of Congo achieved independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960.


RUINED, a co-production between MTC and the Goodman Theatre, is currently playing at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I through Sunday, August 2.


RUINED is the most acclaimed new play of 2009, having received the following awards:

  • 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
    • RUINED is the first Off-Broadway play to receive the Pulitzer since 2000.
  • New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
  • Two Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Play and Outstanding Music for a Play
    • RUINED is the first Off-Broadway play to receive the Outstanding Play Award in 10 years.
  • The Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play
  • Two Lucille Lortel Awards including Outstanding Play
  • Four OBIE Awards including Best New American Play
    • Current cast members Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Russell G. Jones also received OBIE awards for their performances in RUINED
  • A Theatre World Award for cast member Condola Rashad
  • The Clarence Derwent Award for cast member Quincy Tyler Bernstine.


From Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, the author of such plays as Fabulation and Intimate Apparel and director Kate Whoriskey (The Piano Teacher, Fabulation), comes this haunting, probing work about the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. Set in a small mining town in 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 by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?



LISA F. JACKSON has been involved in documentary filmmaking for over 30 years. Her work has brought her many awards including three Emmy nominations and two Emmy awards. Tom Shales of the Washington Post has praised her documentaries as “superb” and “outstanding,” John O’Connor commented in the New York Times that “producer/director Lisa Jackson is remarkably adept in getting her subjects to speak frankly and thoughtfully,” and the Christian Science Monitor noted that she takes on difficult subjects “with intelligence and courage.” She most recently completed a feature length documentary that she shot in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the fate of women and girls in that country’s intractable war. The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo won a Special Jury Award for Documentaries at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on HBO. She produced and directed “Meeting with a Killer: One Family’s Journey” (2001 Emmy Award nominee) for Court TV; “Life Afterlife,” a 90-minute special for HBO; “The Secret Life of Barbie” (1999 Emmy Award winner) for ABC News; “Addicted” and “Why Am I Gay?” for HBO’s “America Undercover” series; “No Money, Mo’ Problems” and “Smart Sex” for the MTV series “True Life”; “The Other Epidemic” for ABC News; “Firefighters” for The Learning Channel; “A Passion to Play” for ABC Sports; “Anatomy of a Baseball Trade” for HBO Sports; five episodes in the Hallmark Channel’s acclaimed “Adoption” series, including stories shot in Siberia and Guatemala; and national PSA’s for the Office for Victims of Crime. Jackson produced a series about ordinary people who have won the Carnegie Medal for heroism that will air on the Hallmark Channel in 2009 and is currently working on a film about a group of displaced women living in the slums of Bogotá, Colombia. Jackson studied filmmaking at MIT with Ricky Leacock and has directed and/or edited dozens of films for PBS including: “Voices and Visions: Emily Dickinson,” “Jackson Pollock: Portrait,” “Through Madness” (1993 NYC Emmy winner), “The Creative Spirit,” “Storytellers,” “The Van Cliburn Piano Competition;” “Bill Moyers’ Journal,” the prizewinning series “The Mind,”and segments for “Sesame Street” and “Live from Lincoln Center.” Jackson’s other awards include an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Special (1999); a New York City Emmy (1993); three CINE Golden Eagles; four Houston International Film Festival, Gold Awards; a Silver Chris Award from the Columbus International Film Festival; a Planned Parenthood “Maggie” Award for Outstanding Documentary; two Gold Clarion Awards from Women in Communications; Best Documentary Awards from the Rome Independent Film Festival, the International Black DocuFest; Audience Choice Awards from the London HRWIFF, One World Slovakia, Vancouver, Breckenridge and Cinequest film festivals and a Movies That Matter Award from Amnesty International. She has screened her work and lectured at the Columbia University School of Journalism, Brandies, Purdue, NYU and Harvard University and was a visiting professor of documentary film at the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan.


BUKENI WARUZI serves as WITNESS’ Program Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East. He is a native of Uvira, South Kivu Province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he worked for over eight years on child soldiers (girls and boys) and children affected by armed conflict. He founded and served as the Executive Director of Ajedi-Ka/Child Soldiers Project, an organization working to demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers in the DRC. Bukeni produced several films on child soldiers and the spread of HIV/AIDS in the DRC during his organization’s partnership with WITNESS. He also implemented the use of cell phones as a means of monitoring and reporting child rights violations. Bukeni holds a BA in economics from the Evangelical University in Africa in Bukavu (DRC) and a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution from Chaire Unesco in Bujumbura (Burundi). Bukeni speaks English, French and Swahili and is conversational in five languages and dialects of the Great Lakes region of Africa.



  • Tickets for RUINED are available via New York City Center Box Office (131 West 55th Street), CityTix® (212-581-1212) and www.nycitycenter.org.
  • Tickets for RUINED are $75.


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