On the 22nd of October 2016 at 530pm, Almasi presented a staged reading of Ruined by Lynn Nottage at the Zimbabwe German Society. Directed by Kudzai Sevenzo, the staged reading had the participation of experienced actors. The staged reading is part of the Almasi Staged Reading series. Set in a small mining town, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lynn Nottage’s RUINED follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman who is trying to stay afloat in a country torn by civil war. The war has ravaged the country and especially the young girls whose bodies have been used as battlefields and have literally been torn to pieces by soldiers from both sides of the conflict. Mama Nadi takes these “damaged” girls into her brothel and profits from them; a fate far kinder than the brutality and stigma they face in the world outside her doors. But she must play her cards well, as soldiers from both sides of the conflict frequent her bar. How far will she go to survive? Is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? Can a price be placed on a human life?


Priscilla Mutendera
Francis Nyakuhwa
Rumbidzo Gunduza
Caroline Mashingaidze-Zimbizi
Musa Saruro
Stewart Sakarombe
Tendo Tapiwa

Director | Kudzai Sevenzo
Stage Manager | Prudence Kalipinde
Operations Manager | Kudakwashe Kanembirira
Associate Artistic Director | Elizabeth Zaza Muchemwa



Directing Ruined

Reading “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage for the first time, was like a slap on the face. A slap I probably needed. The play, with its powerful yet flawed characters shook me out of my complacency and shocked me with its brutal portrayal of the effects of war on women and society as a whole. I was challenged as an actress/playwright by the importance of telling pertinent stories from Africa, particularly stories that show how women and girls become so vulnerable in wars. When one member of a community is violated, ultimately the entire community has been violated. Lynn Nottage tells a beautiful yet harrowing story of friendship and war, greed and compassion, despair and hope, giving both villain and hero, a vulnerability that unites us all in our humanity. Rehearsals started Monday, in the middle of a heat wave in Harare with temperatures soaring to a record high. Not ideal weather for rehearsals, but this did not deter the actors at all. We sat around a table and started our first reading of the play. It was refreshing to engage the actors after the reading, as they were very engrossed in the story and came up with some wonderful insights on the rich and sometimes complex characters.