Eclipsed

Eclipsed

By Danai Gurira

Directed by Liesl Tommy

Originally produced at Woolly Mammoth, Washington, D.C..

August 31,2009 through September 27, 2009



About the Premiere Production: The captive wives of a Liberian rebel officer form a hardscrabble sisterhood, their lives set on a nightmarish detour by civil war. With the arrival of a new girl who can read – and the return of an old one who can kill – their possibilities are quickly transformed. Drawing on reserves of wit and compassion, these defiant survivors ask: when the fog of battle lifts, could a different destiny emerge?


Artistic Statement: Woolly Mammoth's thirtieth season is devoted to plays that address the nexus between theatre and democracy—and ECLIPSED is the perfect way to kick it off. The play gives us a chance to build on our relationship with a brilliant young theatre artist, Danai Gurira, who came to our theatre with the award-winning IN THE CONTINUUM three years ago. With ECLIPSED, she has written her first full-scale play for multiple actors, drawing on her own African background and bringing to light the plight of women in the recent Liberian civil war. Liberia’s special relationship with the United States makes this play a compelling invitation to reflect on the way our own democracy has shaped the fate of other nations. Because of its specificity, depth, and unexpected humor, the play also sheds light on the role of women in many recent conflicts around the globe, especially their struggle to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the face of dehumanizing circumstances. ECLIPSED will speak directly to the large African community in Washington, and enable us to have an urgent conversation with many people in our city who are engaged in international policy and relations. Our first rate artistic team will bring great insight to the process—including South African director Liesl Tommy, Nigerian actress Liz Femi Wilson, and Woolly company members Jessica Frances Dukes and Dawn Ursula. We're especially thrilled that the play already has a strong future, including productions at two other theatres, The Mark Taper Forum and Yale Repertory, who shared in our tour of IN THE CONTINUUM three years ago.


Director:Liesl Tommy

Set Design:Daniel Ettinger

Lighting Design:Colin K. Bills

Sound Design:Veronika Vorel

Costume Design:Kathleen Geldard

Dramaturg:Miriam Weisfeld

Dialect Coach: Tonya Beckman Ross

Fight Choreographer: John Gurski

Production Stage Manager: Rebecca Berlin

Cast:RitaDawn Ursula

Maima: Jessica Frances Dukes

Bessie: Liz Wilson

Helen: Uro Aduba

The Girl: Ayesha Ngaujah

Award Wins and Nominations

Tony Award®
Best Play
2016 Nominee
Produced by Stephen C. Byrd , Alia Jones Harvey , Paula Marie Black , Carole Shorenstein Hays , Alani LaLa Anthony , Michael Magers , Kenny Ozoude , Willette Klausner , Davelle , Dominion Pictures , Emanon Productions , FG Productions , The Forstalls and MA Theatricals
Presenting the production by The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director)
Written by Danai Gurira
 
Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role In A Play
2016 Nominee
Lupita Nyong'o
 
Best Performance By An Actress In A Featured Role In A Play
2016 Nominee
Pascale Armand
Saycon Sengbloh
 
Best Direction Of A Play
2016 Nominee
Directed by Liesl Tommy

Best Costume Design Of A Play
2016 Winner
Costume Design by Clint Ramos

Drama Desk Award

Outstanding Featured Actress In A Play
2016 Winner
Saycon Sengbloh

Theatre World

Award
2016 Recipient
Lupita Nyong'o



Subsequent Productions:

Yale Repertory Theatre in Connecticut - October 23-November 14, 2009.

Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Sept 13 - Oct 18, 2009



News

Nominated for a 2016 Tony Award for Best Play

 

"The wonder of Danai Gurira's new play, which is receiving its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, is that "Eclipsed" is neither depressingly bleak nor oppressively sober. It's a surprisingly vivacious portrait of helplessness, of the entirely human impulse to adapt, to get by even when there's little hope life will get better."

- Eclipsed review in the Washington Post, Sept 8, 2009.


Additional Funding from:

Kenneth W. Crow & Basil Halabi

Joseph Dunne & Elena Grigorieva

Elizabeth & Paul L. Friedman

Karl K. & Carrol Benner Kindel

Karen Lefkowitz & Allen Neyman

Carl E. & Udine Nash

David & Peggy Shiffrin

Grant P. & Sharon R. Thompson