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Gurira to make history

Bruce Ndlovu
Zimbabwean actress and playwright Danai Gurira’s play Eclipsed is set to make history as the first play to feature at New York’s world famous Broadway stage with an all-women and all-black cast.

Gurira’s play featuring five women who include Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, will begin previewing on Broadway 23 February.

Gurira, who stars in the popular Walking Dead series as a sword wielding zombie slayer, has been making the headlines for the right reasons in the last few months. Besides her high profile theatre stage work on Eclipsed, the Zimbabwean actress was last month announced as the actress that will play the mother of slain rapper Tupac Shakur in his long awaited biopic.

Despite its storied history, Broadway has been notorious for its failure to break race and gender barriers, making Gurira’s achievement with Eclipsed all the more remarkable.

In keeping with the theme of promoting theatre in communities that are not exposed to it, the team behind Eclipsed staged the 10 000 Girls Campaign, which is aimed at bringing girls from underprivileged New Year communities to see the show. Set during the Liberian Civil War, Eclipsed follows a group of women who are the captive wives of a rebel officer, and what happens when a new woman arrives.

Besides Nyong’o the play, directed by South African theater director Liesl Tommy, features Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh.