by Danai Gurira
directed by Liesl Tommy
originally produced at Woolly Mammoth,
through September 27, 2009
Subsequent production at Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT and Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles, CA.
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?
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.
Set Design:Daniel Ettinger
Lighting Design:Colin K. Bills
Sound Design:Veronika Vorel
Costume Design:Kathleen Geldard
Dialect Coach: Tonya Beckman Ross
Fight Choreographer: John Gurski
Production Stage Manager: Rebecca Berlin
Maima: Jessica Frances Dukes
Bessie: Liz Wilson
Helen: Uro Aduba
The Girl: Ayesha Ngaujah
Yale Repertory Theatre in Connecticut - October 23-November 14, 2009.
Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Sept 13 - Oct 18, 2009
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