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Lynn Nottage working on 'Ruined' screenplay for Oprah Winfrey, HBO Films

September 20, 2010 | 11:31 am

Nottage "Ruined," the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that recently opened at the Geffen Playhouse after runs in New York, Chicago and Seattle, is getting ready to come to a television screen near you.

A representative for Lynn Nottage said that the playwright is working on a screen adaptation of her stage drama for Harpo Films -- Oprah Winfrey's production company -- and HBO Films. The project is still in its early phases, and no production dates or release dates have been announced, according to the representative.

The news shouldn't come as a surprise to Winfrey fans. The talk-show queen attended a June 2009 performance of "Ruined" at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York and said via Twitter shortly thereafter that the play had made her cry.

Set in a war-torn part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, "Ruined" follows the interactions between the workers of a brothel-bar and some of their male visitors who stop by to drink, chat and more.

"Ruined" is the latest Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play to be picked up by HBO. The premium cable channel has previously produced Tony Kushner's "Angels in America," Margaret Edson's "Wit" and Donald Margulies' "Dinner with Friends."

The Geffen's production of the play is directed by Kate Whoriskey, the artistic director of the Intiman Theatre in Seattle.

On Monday, Nottage was named a recipient of the 2010 "Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award," presented by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.  The honor comes with a cash prize of $200,000.  The award will be presented at a ceremony to be held Nov. 8 in New York.

Nottage is expected to participate in an audience talk-back session at the Geffen Playhouse after the Oct. 5 performance of "Ruined."

-- David Ng

Photo: Lynn Nottage. Credit: Robert Caplin / For The Times

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