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Congo’s Civil War Is Rich Seam for Prize-Winning Playwright

Playwright Lynn Nottage talks to Jeffrey Brown about her Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "Ruined," set during Congo's civil war.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    It's set in a small bar in the Congo, but Lynn Nottage's recent Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Ruined" tells an epic story about the ravages of war, especially its impact on women.

  • ACTRESS:

    But is this who you want to be?

  • ACTRESS:

    I'm sorry, mama, but…

  • ACTRESS:

    No. No. I will put you out on your ass.

  • LYNN NOTTAGE, playwright:

    You get little sound bites in the news. You get the statistics. But I wanted to hear the narratives of the women. It's like, who are they? What is it like to be a woman who hasn't started this war, but finds herself trapped in the middle of a war?

    Nearly 5 million people have died in the Congo right now and, I thought, half of them are women and children, but yet we don't know their names. We don't know who they are. We don't know what their stories are.