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Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Ruined' to open Geffen Playhouse's 2010-11 season

November 20, 2009 |  5:00 am


Lynn Nottage's "Ruined," which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama this year, will have its L.A. premiere at the Geffen Playhouse. A spokeswoman for the company said the drama is scheduled to open the Geffen's 2010-11 season.  

"Ruined" will be a co-production with Seattle's Intiman Theatre, where it is set to run July 2 to Aug. 8. The Geffen's season usually begins in August or September, but the company said no opening date had been set yet for the drama.

Kate Whoriskey, the Intiman's incoming artistic director, is expected to stage the play in Seattle and L.A., according to the Geffen. 

In February, Whoriskey directed the New York production of "Ruined" at the Manhattan Theatre Club, where it quickly became one of the most talked about plays of the season. (The play originated at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in November 2008, also under Whoriskey's direction.) In April of this year, "Ruined" won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. 

The play focuses on the matron of a Congolese brothel who tries futilely to keep the outside war at bay. But violence keeps intruding thanks to the constant foot traffic of both women and men through the brothel doors.

In an interview with The Times this year, Nottage said: "I knew I wanted to tell a story that was not agitprop, that was universal, epic and unabashedly theatrical. Something truthful and yet joyful. And I didn't know how I was ever going to do that."

The Geffen said that Nottage may be "intimately involved" with the productions in Seattle and L.A. 

Nottage is no stranger to L.A. theater. Local audiences may remember her play "Intimate Apparel," which ran at the Mark Taper Forum in 2004 and starred Viola Davis. Her work has also been produced by South Coast Repertory in Orange County.

-- David Ng

Photo: Lynn Nottage, on the set of the New York production of her drama "Ruined." Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times

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