Kris Vire, a Time Out Chicago writer, blogs about taking a pass on Ruined when it originally played in Chicago:
Moreover, Ruined sounded like the kind of do-gooding play that makes itself inherently, and annoyingly, criticism-proof. Stories about the play itself get hopelessly conflated with stories about the play's subjects, or the playwright's process and intentions. I find that plays like Ruined (or The Ballad of Emmett Till, or Black Diamond, or Lost Boys of Sudan or The Laramie Project) lodge a nagging worry in the back of my mind that if I say anything less than glowing about what's on stage, it could be read as a dismissal of the real-life suffering that inspired it.
Was I wrong to take a pass on Ruined? Unless the play takes on a robust enough life to be remounted by another company in Chicago, I may never know. What I do know is this: its run at the Goodman, from mid-November to mid-December, fell during the weeks when I'm normally scrambling to catch up with the year-end plays that my fellow TOC writers think might be contenders for our top ten list. Ruined never came up in that conversation.