By Amy Leon

Have you ever…felt unsafe in your environment?

Ruined is a captivating play that forces you to face the realities of both physical and psychological violence.

Inside the walls of Mama Nadi's bar and brothel, we witness the problems that arise for women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during civil war. This violence is in contrast with the music and dancing that fill the bar and shed light on the culture of the DRC in a very natural way.

Mama Nadi has taken in three new girls, though it is unclear whether for profit or protection. The women are constantly “visited” by soldiers from both sides of the fighting; men who feel entitled to brutalize, rape and dehumanize the women to the point of ruin.

I recommend Ruined, however be prepared for its intensity. Even though it deals with a subject the world is afraid to publicize, I think it is important to face the darker parts of the world we live in.

How to see the show: New York City Center, Stage I, 131 W. 55th St. Visit for schedule and more information.