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'Eclipsed' Is Making History As The First All-Black, All-Women Broadway Show

The Danai Gurira-penned, Lupita Nyong'o-starring show is the first Broadway production to feature an entirely black & female cast and creative team

The women of Eclipsed: Cast (left to right: Saycon Sengbloh, Akosua Busia, Lupita Nyong'o, Zainab Jah and Pascale Armand), director (top left: Liesl Tommy) and writer (top right: Danai Gurira)


When Eclipsed opens next month, it will go down in history as the first Broadway production to feature an entirely black and female cast and creative team.

The play, written by Zimbabwean-American playwright, actress and star of The Walking Dead, Danai Gurira, tells the story of five women during the Liberian civil war.

Eclipsed originally premiered at the Yale Repertory Theater in 2009, with a now Academy Award-winning actress understudying for the role of the principle “Girl.”

The actress, of course, was Lupita Nyong’o, who blew us away last fall as the lead in the Public Theater’s sold-out production of Eclipsed. Directed 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 will reprise their roles, with Tommy at the helm, as producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey bring the play to Broadway.

Eclipsed will also mark a Broadway debut for La La Anthony, one of the show’s co-producers. Through the 10,000 Girls Campaign, the Eclipsed team has a goal of bringing 10,000 girls from the tri-state area to see the show who would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience a Broadway production.

Okayafrica had the opportunity to join the show’s cast and crew on their very first day at their new home. Check out our photos from day 1 of Eclipsed at the legendary Golden Theatre below.

Previews for Eclipsed begin on Tuesday, February 23, with opening night set for March 6 at the Golden Theatre (252 W. 45th Street). Visit the 10,000 Girls Campaign website to find out how you can support the initiative. Keep up with the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Lupita Nyong'o, star of Eclipsed, on day 1 at the Golden Theatre

Lupita Nyong'o, star of Eclipsed, on day 1 at the Golden Theatre

Pascale Armand on day 1 of Eclipsed at the Golden Theatre

Zainab Jah on day 1 of Eclipsed at the Golden Theatre

Saycon Sengbloh on day 1 of Eclipsed at the Golden Theatre

Danai Gurira, the writer of Eclipsed, on day 1 at the Golden Theatre

Danai Gurira, the writer of Eclipsed, on day 1 at the Golden Theatre

Akosua Busia on day 1 of Eclipsed at the Golden Theatre

La La Anthony on day 1 of Eclipsed at the Golden Theatre

The cast of Eclipsed (left to right: Saycon Sengbloh, Akosua Busia, Lupita Nyong'o, Zainab Jah and Pascale Armand)

The cast (left to right: Saycon Sengbloh, Akosua Busia, Lupita Nyong'o, Zainab Jah and Pascale Armand), director (top left: Liesl Tommy) and writer (top right: Danai Gurira)

La La Anthony (left), the cast of Eclipsed (left to right: Saycon Sengbloh, Akosua Busia, Lupita Nyong'o, Zainab Jah and Pascale Armand), director (top left: Liesl Tommy), writer (top right: Danai Gurira), and producer Stephen Byrd (right)

Outside the Golden Theatre

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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

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