Eclipsed, the play starring Lupita Nyong’o about women in a rebel camp during Liberia’s civil war, is billed as “Broadway’s first all-female cast and creative team.” It was written by The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira and the cast is all female, as is the director.
“This is a play I wanted a woman director for,” Gurira told the Cut at the opening on Sunday. “I wanted a play where you took out the male voice and the male face, and said we’re going to extract, in this case, the antagonist and just make it about these women.”
Director Liesl Tommy says that going in, she didn’t know that the team would be breaking new ground as Broadway’s first all-female production, but she’s not exactly crowing about the achievement. “In fact, I think it’s actually an outrage that it is [the first all-female Broadway show] in 2016,” Tommy said, laughing. “People keep saying it’s amazing, and I don’t think it’s amazing — I think it’s shocking. And what’s shocking is that there have been all-female plays, there have been female plays written by women, but there hasn’t been a female director,” she added. “There hasn’t been a woman in the lead, in the position of power, guiding the show. It’s always been a male director, and people keep telling me that that’s the thing making history, which is crazy. But it’s real.”