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'Eclipsed' Continues Making History With 6 Tony Award Nominations

Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and the cast and crew of 'Eclipsed' on Broadway are nominated for 6 Tony Awards.

The cast of Eclipsed: Saycon Sengbloh, Akosua Busia, Lupita Nyong’o, Zainab Jah and Pascale Armand on day 1 at the legendary Golden Theatre. (Photo: Alyssa Klein)


Eclipsed has been making history ever since it debuted on Broadway this year. Penned by Zimbabwean-American actress, playwright and star of The Walking Dead, Danai Gurira, it tells the story of five women during the Liberian civil war.

Now, the cast and crew of Eclipsed are up for six Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Pascale Armand and Saycon Sengbloh), Best Costume Design of a Play (Clint Ramos) and Best Direction of a Play (Liesl Tommy).

Gurira is the only woman writer nominated for Best Play, points out celebrity reporter and blogger Makho Ndlovu.

The 70th Annual Tony Awards are set to take place Sunday, June 12th, at the Beacon Theater in New York City. They’ll be televised on CBS. In related news, Hamilton made Tony Awards history with a record-breaking 16 nominations.

Best Play – Eclipsed by Danai Gurira

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play – Lupita Nyong’o

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play – Pascale Armand

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play – Saycon Sengbloh

Best Costume Design of a Play – Clint Ramos

Best Direction of a Play – Liesl Tommy

Eclipsed originally ran at the Yale Repertory Theater in 2009, with a promising Yale School of Drama student understudying for the principle role of the “Girl.” The student, of course, was Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, who returned to the stage in September 2015, though this time as the lead in the Public Theater’s sold-out production of Eclipsed. Helmed by South African theater director Liesl Tommy, the off-Broadway show also featured brilliant performances by Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh (who is herself Liberian).

All five women reprised their roles when producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey brought Eclipsed to Broadway back in March.

Through the 10,000 Girls Campaign, the Eclipsed team has a goal of bringing 10,000 girls to see the show who otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience a Broadway production.

As of this past weekend, each performance of Eclipsed is dedicated to abducted girls around the world to help drive attention to initiatives like #BringBackOurGirls and #KnowHerName. Saturday’s performance was dedicated to Lydia Habila and Rejoice Musa, two of the 276 girls who were abducted from their school in Chibok, Nigeria on April 14th, 2014.

“Many of the abducted girls are living lives exactly like those you have just witnessed today on our stage,” said Eclipsed castmember Akosua Busia. “They are used as tools of war. Lydia Habila and Rejoice Musa. Know her name.”

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