When watching a play about an atrocity, it’s easy to feel that there is nothing one can do but bare witness, and this can be particularly unsettling with a play like “Ruined.” The conflict depicted in the play is largely over precious metals like coltan, a high-charge conductor used in the manufacture of cell phones, iPods and Play Stations, and therefore in high demand in Western markets — our own being the largest. How can we be sure we’re not supporting this conflict? In this case, an answer is closer than you might think.
On Sunday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m., immediately following the 2 p.m. performance of “Ruined,” the Huntington Theatre Company has invited Congressman Barney Frank, Democratic Representative of the 4th District, to discuss the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128), of which he is a co-sponsor. This act calls for the establishment of a process to identify “conflict metals” and halt their importation and trade within the United States.
Read my review of “Ruined” here.