Undine undone or finding fabulous in Fabulation

Mar 20

Undine undone or finding fabulous in <i>Fabulation</i>

Though unplanned, we have something of a Lynn Nottage festival happening in the Bay Area right now.

Berkeley Rep is showing Nottage's most serious side with her Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Ruined, a tale of hope amid brutality, and the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre showcases a more lighthearted (though not exactly comic) side of Nottage with Fabulation, the story of a modern woman's relationship to her roots.

The really good news here is the story of the Lorraine Hansberry itself. After losing both of its founders last year – the subsequent deaths of Stanley Williams and Quentin Easter is still difficult to fathom – the Hansberry could have foundered and disappeared. That would have meant a huge loss to Bay Area theater. How would you compensate for the loss of one of the nation's most prominent African-American theater companies as it's just about to celebrate its 30th anniversary? You couldn't. And thankfully, we don't have to.

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Ruined but resilient, horrifying but beautiful

Mar 03

<i>Ruined</i> but resilient, horrifying but beautiful

The evil that men do – and have done and continue to do – certainly does live after them. Shakespeare was so right about that. It lives and festers and poisons and leads to more evil.

This is incredibly apparent in Ruined, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play now on stage at Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Roda Theatre.

Acts of unspeakable, incomprehensible violence occur, but it’s the echoes of those acts that ring most loudly in this compelling, ultimately shattering theatrical experience. There’s a war depicted on stage, but it’s not the chaotic, constantly shifting free-for-all of militias and government forces in East Africa. Rather, it’s the war waged on the bodies of thousands of that region’s women.

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Delighted by `Ruined,’ Nottage nabs Pulitzer

Apr 21

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Photo by the LA Times Lynn Nottage’s play Ruined, inspired by Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The play, about a Congolese brothel run by a woman named Mama Nadi, is about a country torn apart by civil war and about a woman who is either protecting women or...

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