Eclipsed, a play starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, made history as the first Broadway play with an all-female cast and creative team. It tells the story of a group of women living in a rebel camp during Liberia’s Civil war in 2003. Four of the women are married to the same man, an abusive rebel commanding officer.
The play was written by Danai Gurira, who starred in The Walking Dead, and was directed by Liesl Tommy. Gurira said she wanted to take men out of the equation and create a play about, starring, and directed exclusively by women.
Tommy did not realize initially that Eclipsed would be the first Broadway play to do this. Although many people have praised the play for being the first to have an all-female cast and production team, Tommy said she thought it was an outrage that this milestone was only reached in 2016. Other Broadway plays have had all-female casts, but they had male directors. Eclipsed opened on March 6 and is scheduled to run through June 19 at the John Golden Theatre.
Women have recently made Broadway history with other productions. Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori were the first all-female writing team to win a Tony Award for a musical score. They received their award at the 69th Annual Tony Awards for Fun Home, which premiered in October 2013. It was the first Broadway musical production with a lesbian protagonist. Fun Home was nominated for a total of 12 Tony Awards.
The last time two women were nominated for Tony Awards for Book and Score was 1991. Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman received nominations for their adaptation of the young adult novel The Secret Garden. Cyndi Lauper made history as the first female composer to win a Tony for Best Score without a male collaborator for the 2013 musical Kinky Boots.
OnBroadway.com sells discounted tickets for many plays and musicals at theaters on and off-Broadway. Tickets are available for both day and evening performances of Eclipsed at the John Golden Theatre.