Set during the Second Liberian Civil War, the play Eclipsed recounts the tale of the hostage spouses of a commanding officer in the rebel army.
This ambitious presentation, currently being presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, tells the harrowing tale of a real-life situation.
Eclipsed shows the second Liberian Civil War from a different perspective, highlighting the hardships that women were forced to go through at the time.
The play was written by Danai Gurira, best known as an actress for her roles as Okoye in Black Panther and as Michonne on The Walking Dead TV show.
In the play, a young lady just referred to as “The Girl” (De’Lia Madison) has recently been kidnapped by the commanding officer, and two of his more established spouses (Dwedee Kabbah and Amya Ash) do what they can to help and take care of her in the weather-beaten, one-room shack the ladies share. Just as The Girl begins to adjust to life at the compound, the entire community is thrown off balance when the fourth wife (Mionne Destiny) returns from the battlefield, after having escaped the army camp to fight as a soldier in the resistance.
The introduction of Rita (Mata Drain) shakes the scene up because she is unlike any other female in the play. Rita, who commands respect from the commanding officer, is about empowering women, teaching them how to read and start careers as she too has been affected by the war going on losing her own daughter. Struck by the acknowledgment that she might not need to leave herself to the horrid truth of life in the military, The Girl must pick whether to remain with the ladies who have done so much for her or to assume the responsibility of her own fate and battle for an opportunity. With deep emotional strength, brutal honesty, and a surprising amount of humor, the women of Eclipsed fight to do something truly extraordinary: survive.
“My favorite character the play would have to be The Girl,” said Jeleya Prescott, a sophomore from Los Angeles, California. “I can honestly feel the pain and see the hope for change through her character and that grabbed me.”
Mionne Destiny, who had a standout performance, said her favorite part was simply being in the play.
“I was just cast over the weekend so my favorite part was being able to execute it all in front of the audience although still getting to know the show and memorizing lines,” Destiny said. Destiny’s late addition comes as a surprise as her performance seemed well rehearsed.
Eclipsed will be showing through Friday (Feb. 22). The performance starts at 7 p.m. nightly inside the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center.
If you haven’t yet seen Eclipsed or have no knowledge on the Liberian Civil war I highly recommend that you check it out while you still have a chance.