Eclipsed – Stunning and Frightening

ECLIPSED PLAY ORIGINAL JOHN GOLDEN THEATRE 252 W. 45TH ST. toggle menu Large Logo John Owen Jones - Homepage Extra John Owen Jones - Homepage Extra toggle search form LATEST VAULT SHOWS JOBS DISCOUNTS TRAVEL LATEST NEWS RELATED An Exclusive Look at London’s Hand to God Opening Watch Stephen Colbert Dance Into Fiddler on the Roof (For One Night Only) Intiman Theatre Puts Black Female Writers Center Stage Steve Kazee to Star in Nancy Drew Spinoff Michael Polish Picked to Direct Mamet's Speed-the-Plow Film Last Undeveloped Theatre on 42nd Street Gets New Tenant 52 NEW STORIES ECLIPSED - CAST Person Placeholder Lupita Nyong'o as The Girl Pascale Armand Pascale Armand as Bessie Person Placeholder Akosua Busia as Rita Person Placeholder Zainab Jah as Maima Saycon Sengbloh Saycon Sengbloh as Helena Person Placeholder Ayesha Jordan as The Girl (Standby) ECLIPSED - PRODUCTION CREDITS Danai Gurira Danai Gurira Playwright Person Placeholder Liesl Tommy Director Person Placeholder Clint Ramos Scenic & Costume Design Person Placeholder Jennifer Schriever Lighting Design Person Placeholder Broken Chord Original Music and Sound Design Person Placeholder Cookie Jordan Hair, Wig and Make-up Design Person Placeholder Cookie Jordan Hair, Wig & Make-up Design Kyle Brown Kyle Brown Associate Director Person Placeholder Ryan Howell Associate Scenic Designer Person Placeholder Christopher Vergara Associate Costume Designer Person Placeholder Ben Green Associate Lighting Designer Person Placeholder Michael Prieto Associate Sound Designer Person Placeholder TJ Weaver Assistant Director Person Placeholder Aurora Productions Production Management Person Placeholder Diane DiVita Production Stage Manager Person Placeholder Gwendolyn M. Gilliam Stage Manager Rick Sordelet Rick Sordelet Fight Director Christian Kelly-Sordelet Christian Kelly-Sordelet Fight Director Beth McGuire Beth McGuire Voice and Dialect Beth McGuire Beth McGuire Voice & Dialect Coach Person Placeholder Jordan Thaler Casting Person Placeholder Heidi Griffiths Casting Tara Rubin Tara Rubin Casting Person Placeholder 101 Productions, Ltd. General Manager Person Placeholder Jennifer R. Graves Company Manager Person Placeholder DKC/O&M General Press Representative Person Placeholder Rick Miramontez Press Representative Person Placeholder Scott Braun Press Representative Person Placeholder Jaron Caldwell Press Representative Person Placeholder Michael Jorgensen Press Representative Person Placeholder SPOTCo, Inc. Advertising Person Placeholder The Pekoe Group Marketing & Social Media Stephen C. Byrd Stephen C. Byrd Producer Person Placeholder Alia Jones Harvey Producer Paula Marie Black Paula Marie Black Producer Carole Shorenstein Hays Carole Shorenstein Hays Producer Person Placeholder Alani La La Anthony Producer Person Placeholder Davelle Producer Person Placeholder Dominion Pictures Producer Person Placeholder Emanon Productions Producer Person Placeholder FG Productions Producer Person Placeholder The Forstalls Producer Person Placeholder Kenny Ozoude Producer Person Placeholder M.A.D. Theatricals Producer Person Placeholder Michael Magers Producer Person Placeholder Willette Murphy Klausner Producer Person Placeholder Randolph Sturrup Produced in association with Person Placeholder Marvet Britto Associate Producer Person Placeholder The Public Theater Original Production Oskar Eustis Oskar Eustis Artistic Director, The Public Theater Person Placeholder Patrick Willingham Executive Director, The Public Theater Playbill Sites Playbill Store Playbill Arts Playbill EDU Playbillder Playbill Travel Download Playbill Passport Contact Playbill Playbill Club Advertising Career RSS Contact Us FOLLOW PLAYBILL NOW GET IN THE CLUB. News and discounts delivered right to your inbox. COPYRIGHT 2016 © PLAYBILL INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. POWERED BY Brightspot Logo

Zainab Jah,Saycon Sengbloh,Pascale Armand, Lupita Nyong’o

 

 

By Sandi Durell

 

 

The dictionary meaning of Eclipse(d) is to deprive (someone or something) of significance, power, or prominence. When four of the five women in Danai Gurira’s heart-wrenching drama are named Wife 1 thru 4, no longer remembering what their mommas named them or where they come from, they are stripped bare of identity and completely dehumanized. They are the sad sacrifices of the horrors and inhumanities of the Second Liberian Civil War, living under the control of a rebel warlord, a C.O., battling to overthrow Charles Taylor’s dictatorship beginning in the 1990s.

 

This strong ensemble of women, magnificently directed by Liesl Tommy, are ranked in a hierarchy to provide sex, food and do laundry for their C.O. (never seen), featuring Lupita Nyong’o (Oscar winner, 12 Years a Slave) reprising her role as The Girl, a 15 year old virgin and the youngest living in the bullet-ridden cinderblock hovel where Saycon Sengbloh (Holler If Ya Hear Me, Motown, Fela), is the fair yet no-nonsense, in charge, Wife #1, considered old at the age of 25, attempting to protect The Girl by keeping her hidden underneath a washtub from being jumped on. Maima (ebullient Zainab Jah), as Wife #2 no longer living with them, has taken her freedom by joining the rebel army, proudly carrying her rifle, clothed in American-style tight bling jeans and sexy tops. Wife #3 is the pregnant child-like Bessie (a delicious Pascale Armand – The Trip to Bountiful) – a baby about to have a baby.

 

When The Girl wanders out one night to relieve herself, she is raped by the C.O. and returns without a word spoken.

 

The women somehow endure the atrocities of war, their daily lives peppered with humor as they fight for the spoils brought to them by the C.O. – some pieces of clothing, a book – all judiciously handed out by Wife #1, and when it is discovered that The Girl has some ability to read, and does from a biography about Bill Clinton, great laughter ensues as Wife #3 asks “So who Monica now?, Wife #1 replying “She #2, no?

ECLIPSED PLAY ORIGINAL JOHN GOLDEN THEATRE 252 W. 45TH ST. toggle menu Large Logo John Owen Jones - Homepage Extra John Owen Jones - Homepage Extra toggle search form LATEST VAULT SHOWS JOBS DISCOUNTS TRAVEL LATEST NEWS RELATED An Exclusive Look at London’s Hand to God Opening Watch Stephen Colbert Dance Into Fiddler on the Roof (For One Night Only) Intiman Theatre Puts Black Female Writers Center Stage Steve Kazee to Star in Nancy Drew Spinoff Michael Polish Picked to Direct Mamet's Speed-the-Plow Film Last Undeveloped Theatre on 42nd Street Gets New Tenant 52 NEW STORIES ECLIPSED - CAST Person Placeholder Lupita Nyong'o as The Girl Pascale Armand Pascale Armand as Bessie Person Placeholder Akosua Busia as Rita Person Placeholder Zainab Jah as Maima Saycon Sengbloh Saycon Sengbloh as Helena Person Placeholder Ayesha Jordan as The Girl (Standby) ECLIPSED - PRODUCTION CREDITS Danai Gurira Danai Gurira Playwright Person Placeholder Liesl Tommy Director Person Placeholder Clint Ramos Scenic & Costume Design Person Placeholder Jennifer Schriever Lighting Design Person Placeholder Broken Chord Original Music and Sound Design Person Placeholder Cookie Jordan Hair, Wig and Make-up Design Person Placeholder Cookie Jordan Hair, Wig & Make-up Design Kyle Brown Kyle Brown Associate Director Person Placeholder Ryan Howell Associate Scenic Designer Person Placeholder Christopher Vergara Associate Costume Designer Person Placeholder Ben Green Associate Lighting Designer Person Placeholder Michael Prieto Associate Sound Designer Person Placeholder TJ Weaver Assistant Director Person Placeholder Aurora Productions Production Management Person Placeholder Diane DiVita Production Stage Manager Person Placeholder Gwendolyn M. Gilliam Stage Manager Rick Sordelet Rick Sordelet Fight Director Christian Kelly-Sordelet Christian Kelly-Sordelet Fight Director Beth McGuire Beth McGuire Voice and Dialect Beth McGuire Beth McGuire Voice & Dialect Coach Person Placeholder Jordan Thaler Casting Person Placeholder Heidi Griffiths Casting Tara Rubin Tara Rubin Casting Person Placeholder 101 Productions, Ltd. General Manager Person Placeholder Jennifer R. Graves Company Manager Person Placeholder DKC/O&M General Press Representative Person Placeholder Rick Miramontez Press Representative Person Placeholder Scott Braun Press Representative Person Placeholder Jaron Caldwell Press Representative Person Placeholder Michael Jorgensen Press Representative Person Placeholder SPOTCo, Inc. Advertising Person Placeholder The Pekoe Group Marketing & Social Media Stephen C. Byrd Stephen C. Byrd Producer Person Placeholder Alia Jones Harvey Producer Paula Marie Black Paula Marie Black Producer Carole Shorenstein Hays Carole Shorenstein Hays Producer Person Placeholder Alani La La Anthony Producer Person Placeholder Davelle Producer Person Placeholder Dominion Pictures Producer Person Placeholder Emanon Productions Producer Person Placeholder FG Productions Producer Person Placeholder The Forstalls Producer Person Placeholder Kenny Ozoude Producer Person Placeholder M.A.D. Theatricals Producer Person Placeholder Michael Magers Producer Person Placeholder Willette Murphy Klausner Producer Person Placeholder Randolph Sturrup Produced in association with Person Placeholder Marvet Britto Associate Producer Person Placeholder The Public Theater Original Production Oskar Eustis Oskar Eustis Artistic Director, The Public Theater Person Placeholder Patrick Willingham Executive Director, The Public Theater Playbill Sites Playbill Store Playbill Arts Playbill EDU Playbillder Playbill Travel Download Playbill Passport Contact Playbill Playbill Club Advertising Career RSS Contact Us FOLLOW PLAYBILL NOW GET IN THE CLUB. News and discounts delivered right to your inbox. COPYRIGHT 2016 © PLAYBILL INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. POWERED BY Brightspot Logo

Nyong’o, as the honest, heartbreaking Girl, can no longer endure being jumped on as the now favorite of the C.O., and is easily recruited by the terrifying Maima to join the rebel forces where she will no longer be held captive. As she is indoctrinated by Maima to kill the monkey (the enemy), we watch The Girl morph into a chilling soldier of war, stripped of all empathy. The telltale sexy clothing worn by Maima is an opposing tipoff that this little soldier still needs and wants to attract male lovers and does so for protection and on her own terms.

 

Clearly visible are the activists in the form of Rita (Akosua Busia) a delegate of the women’s peace movement, the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, who attempts to and does begin a process of educating these lost souls by making them acknowledge and remember their names.

ECLIPSED_0268_Photo_by_Joan_Marcus

The great contradiction is that the rebels all commit the same atrocities as Taylor’s army; rounding up children as sex slaves, stealing, murdering and perpetrating unbearable barbaric tortures.

 

The play, transferred from the Public Theater’s 2015 knockout production, pays homage to Ms. Gurira’s exceptional talent as a playwright and also the actress known as Michonne in The Walking Dead. The background African rhythms by Broken Chord, colorful palate of Jen Schriever’s lights against Clint Ramos’ scenic design and vibrant costumes all enhance the emotional roller coaster that prevails throughout this two hour and 15 minute masterpiece.

 

The confusion evident in Nyong’o’s final (gloriously portrayed) moment when the war ends, after carefully hearing her choices from Maima to continue fighting and killing and Rita, to find her family and embark upon a peaceful existence, bring forth the resolve that, whatever the choice, women must and can choose their destiny.  Eclipsed is a powerful send up to all women!

 

Eclipsed – Golden Theatre, 252 West 45 St. – running time 2 hrs. 15 min. (w/intermission) www.Eclipsedbroadway.com

Photos: Joan Marcus

 

 

 

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