In Ruined, playwright Lynn Nottage and director Charles Randolph-Wright manage to confront head-on the mass-rape of civilian women by combatants during the Second Congo War with a rare blend of finely controlled realism and priceless restraint. Not only do they quash any notion of sexual violence as entertainment, they also show us that a finely crafted less can be far more effective than a shocking more. With Nottage's careful balance, we know exactly what has happened to these women. And yet she ensures us the space to see where they have landed spiritually and emotionally, not just physically. Any treatment of war and women written and performed with such power, grace and humanity is simply not to be missed. To June 5. Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $70 to $90. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
Read Kate Wingfield's full review here.