Lupita Nyong’o To Make Her New York Stage Debut In Liberian War Drama 'Eclipsed'

Lupita Nyong’o will make her New York stage debut in Zimbabwean-American playwright/actress Danai Gurira's Liberian war drama 'Eclipsed.'

Lupita Nyong’o will be making her New York stage debut later this year in the Public Theater's production of Zimbabwean-American playwright/actress Danai Gurira's Liberian war drama Eclipsed. The Off Broadway production will be directed by the South African born Liesl Tommy (Appropriate and The Public Theater’s The Good Negro).

Set in 1993 during the country's first civil war, the play centers around a group of four women being held captive by a rebel officer. "Amid the chaos of the Liberian Civil War, the captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community – until the balance of their lives is upset by the arrival of a new girl," reads a description on the Public Theater's website. "Drawing on reserves of wit and compassion, ECLIPSED reveals distinct women who must discover their own means of survival in this deeply felt portrait of women finding and testing their own strength in a hostile world of horrors not of their own making," the Theater's description continues. According to, Nyong'o will star as "The Girl."

"A feminist reading of the Liberian Civil War, a war that was ended by women, Eclipsed is both heart-breaking and profoundly life-affirming. We are delighted to welcome the extraordinary Lupita Nyong’o to The Public in this vitally important play," artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a press statement, according to Playbill.

Eclipsed will begin previews on September 29th, with an opening night scheduled for October 14th. A limited engagement, the play will run through November 8th. Find out more details via the Public Theater.

Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox