Alex Saxton Jaramillo
The play Ruined by Lynn Nottage is about the struggles that young women go through in Africa. The play takes place in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. This show is very real and eye opening about the struggles young girls and women go through everyday in Africa. Before reading this play and researching it I assumed the struggles that go on there based off what I hear. But now I wish I was more so I could help every young women there.
The opening scene of this play takes off in a small mining town in the tropical lturi rain forest of the democratic Republic of Congo. A salesman has just come back from a trip to help Mama Nadi supply her Brothel. The Brothel is another very key set piece in this play. The brothel is a place where men can come and “take a load off” Mama Nadi has supplied women to help do so. The Brothel is a house for prostitutions.
Although the rain forest and the brothel aren’t the only set pieces for this play they are the things that stood the most out to me. I have yet to see this show but what I have seen of the set is so gorgeous. The rain forest especially. The rain forest has tall bamboo like trees that are all aligned in their own way. They look scattered but very much so aligned with one another. You can’t see any branches or green. Just the trunks of the trees. The scrim behind is dark, which is very realistic because if you have ever been in a bamboo forest you would know that is dark in the middle of the day as well as night. The brothel is more tan and neutral inside. There are tables and chairs set up for costumers and a bar area. They also have some netting closer to the sealing to create a draping. It adds a lot of dimension, which I like.
The costumes are great in this show. But I think that the women’s costumes are more thrilling. They are very bright in coloring, which looks incredible against African American women’s skin. They are bright reds, blues, and yellows. One thing about the costumes and the colors of them is it adds some happiness to the darkness of the show. Color is hopeful.
The greatest thing about this design is it isn’t to over the top to distract away form the beauty and meaning of the play. Sometimes spectacle can be a lot on the eyes and we get distracted as an audience. This design is enough to stand on its own but also helps tell the story that Ruined tells.