Oscar-winning Zimbabwean actress Lupita Nyong’o is set to make her New York stage debut later this year in an off-Broadway show.
Lupita will star as “The Girl” in “Eclipsed”, a play set amid the horrors of the Liberian civil war and telling the story of the strong women survivors who struggled to maintain their community and survive despite the atrocities of war.
The play will show at the Public Theater in Manhattan from 29 September to 8 November and is sure to be a sell out thanks to the undisputed draw of Lupita.
The play is written by Zimbabwean-American actress Danai Gurira best known for her role in TV’s, The Walking Dead. Set in 2003 near the end of the civil war it tells how captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community until their lives are upset by the arrival of a new girl – Lupita.
The Public Theater’s artistic director, Oskar Eustis, called the work a “feminist reading” of the African conflict that is “both heartbreaking and profoundly life-affirming.” He thinks it a ‘brilliant play, ripped from the headlines, that looks at the terrible conflicts in post-colonial Africa.
“Eclipsed” is to be directed by Liesl Tommy, who staged the play’s premiere at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington in 2009. In his review of a production at Yale Repertory Theater that same year, Charles Isherwood wrote that the play “depicts the harsh realities of women’s lives in a strife-torn African country with both a clear eye and a palpable empathy.
Nyong’o was born in Mexico, brought up in Kenya and moved to America to study at Yale School of Drama. She shot to international fame by winning an Academy Award in 2014 for her role in “Twelve Years a Slave.”
Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic. It was formed by freed American slaves, and was devastated by two civil wars which killed around 25,000 people between 1989 and 2003.
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