Apr 20, 2009

Blasted v. Ruined

New Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage, defending the hopeful ending of Ruined in the LA Times against critics who found it "unworthy" or jarring:
"My response?" says the playwright briskly. "They have never been to Africa. They have never spent time with these women to understand that you can be brutalized and still find a way to heal. It was very important for me to be optimistic about that and still tell the truth." Nottage pauses.

"Maybe some people wanted a 'Blasted'-type play," she says heatedly, referring to Sarah Kane's unrelentingly grim wartime drama. "But I can tell you, that woman killed herself. And that's the difference between her and me!"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having seen both in the past few months--"Blasted" at Soho Rep and "Ruined" at MTC, I can offer this: Each play was given the best possible production, from design to direction to performance, but "Ruined," though not a perfect play, was better in almost every way. Blasted is a contemporary Gran Guignol, and it's only merit, if you can call it that, is vileness. Both plays plumb the absolute bottom of human behavior, but Nottage doesn't seem, as Kane did, to take a perverse delight in it. The difference isn't redemption, which I found a little too tidy and precious in "Ruined"--it is the perspective of the playwright. Nottage is an artist; Kane was a suicide.