by Lynn Nottage
directed by Charles Randolph-Wright

In war-torn Congo, Mama Nadi keeps the peace between customers on both sides of the civil war by serving everything from cold beers to warm beds. This shrewd matriarch both protects and profits from the women whose bodies have become battlegrounds "ruined" by the brutality of government soldiers and rebel forces alike. Inspired by interviews conducted in Africa, this searing play is an engrossing and uncommonly human story told with humor and song, revealing the immeasurable loss and hopelessness of war, yet finding affirmation in life and hope.

"A play that in every way, shape and form deserves to be the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama."

"A remarkable theatrical accomplishment... SINCERE, PASSIONATE, COURAGEOUS!"

About Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater

The Mead Center for American Theater is "the largest performing arts complex to open since the Kennedy Center." - Jacqueline Trescott, The Washington Post.

After a decade of planning, design and construction, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater reopens October 25, 2010. The new building, designed by Bing Thom Architects, one of Canada’s most renowned architectural firms, re-imagines this legendary theater and creates a cultural destination in southwest Washington. With the opening of this new facility, Arena Stage will be the second largest performing arts complex in Washington after the Kennedy Center and will be the country’s leading center for the production, presentation, development and study of American theater.

1101 Sixth Street, SW Washington, DC 20024

About Women for Women International

According to Women for Women International survey data, out of every 100 women in Eastern DRC:

  • 40 are internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, or returnees
  • 42 never attended school
  • 52 eat only one meal a day
  • 77 earn $1 or less per day
  • 80 are from villages that have been attacked
  • 75 think their current village will be attacked
  • 50 have spouses that have left because of war
  • 49 are afraid to work outside of their home
  • 65 are unhappy with their lives today

Founded in 1993, Women for Women International (WfWI) provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and selfsufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. In response to the vast international reports of epidemic rape and sexual violence of women, WfWI officially began operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2004. Since program inception, WfWI has served 37,816 women survivors of war in Eastern DRC, enabling them to become active citizens who can help establish lasting peace and stability.

Despite the signing of international peace agreements, a deadly 15 year war continues in Eastern DRC. Since 1998, an estimated 5.4 million people have died as a result of the conflict, making it the most lethal crisis since World War II. The conflict has been marked by systematic violence against women, where rape and sexual violence are used as weapons of war.