Famously known for her groundbreaking role in 12 Years A Slave Lupita Nyong’o continues her acting endeavors, this time starring on Broadway as “The Girl” in the controversial, yet enlightening play Eclipsed.
Eclipsed takes place in a rural village in Liberia, a country where war and gender discrimination is a pervasive and ongoing social issue. The play chronicles the lives of four different wives who have been captive in the home of a notorious warlord. Written by Zimbabwean playwright Danai Gurira, the talented writer teams up with director and South Africa native, Liesl Tommy to bring a powerful and informative experience of growth, love and African culture. Tommy garnered interest in this play years ago when actress and writer Danai sent her the script.
The opening scene begins with two of the warlords’ wives attempting to hide a third younger wife (Lupita). The warlord—whose face is never shown—calls on wife number one to come to his service. What at first is a confusing cluster of random chores, soon becomes clear as the wives transition back and forth from their shared husbands room to their own rooms forced to perform sexual favors as if they are objects.
What started out as a depressing story about a helpless city in Africa, turned into a humor-filled rights of passage story of four women on the quest of four very different paths in life.
Wife one had been the warlords’ wife for several years, she was the oldest and the wisest of the others, wife two is missing in the group and we soon find out that she decided to join the war and fight for her country. Wife three is a young pregnant jokester who—amid all the violence and danger—manages to be full of life and laughter. Wife four (Lupita) is the youngest of them all who was separated from her family a few years ago. With her reading skills and her faint memory of her mother, “The Girl” seeks to find solace in a hostile environment.
As all four wives cross paths, they are forced to make difficult choices that will affect the future of their lives tremendously; one choosing to be a fearless soldier, one choosing to stay and be a wife and mother, and another choosing to learn and elevate herself.
Although the living conditions at the time in Liberia are incomparable to those here in America, these are issues that some women in under-developed countries suffer through everyday. Eclipsed has an internal story for any woman going through the aches and growing pains of reality.
The play will be in session from now until the end of May. A closing date has not been issued yet. You can purchase tickets on PlayBill.com.