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Broadway's ECLIPSED Honors Abducted Women of #BringBackOurGirls

On Friday, April 15, 2016, the Broadway play ECLIPSED by Danai Gurira - a story about the navigation of five women through the vicious Liberian civil war - observed a moment of silence during the curtain call to honor of the hundreds of missing girls who, in 2014 were abducted by members of Boko Haram, a terrorist group, at the Chibok school in Northern Nigeria: #BringBackOurGirls.

At that evening's curtain call, ECLIPSED actress Akosua Busia spoke on behalf of the company and recognized several special guests in the audience brought by playwright Gurira: two young women directly impacted by the incident and Emmanuel Ogebe, human rights activist and international director of Education Must Continue Initiative (www.EMCInitiative.org), an organization that rehabilitates children victimized by terrorism by providing them safe haven, medical treatment, counseling and a return to their education.

In recognition of this powerful moment at the theater, all future performances of ECLIPSED will be dedicated to the abducted and still missing girls in Africa, here in the U.S. and all around the world. During the curtain call, a live announcement will be made dedicating by name each performance to a specific missing girl, an effort to shine a continuous light on the victims of war, violence, and abuse.

ECLIPSED playwright Danai Gurira said:

"I first met human rights lawyer and activist Emmanuel Ogebe in 2014 at a ONE campaign summit. I had just performed parts of ECLIPSED. In an astounding case of synchronicity, Mr. Ogebe walked on stage next with Saa, a young girl who had escaped the Boko Haram. She spoke of her experience, and I was shattered. We have remained in touch ever since.

"The presence of Emmanuel at a recent performance of ECLIPSED, along with two of the Chibok school girls who escaped the Boko Haram, was also a deeply special moment. It marked the two-year anniversary of the abduction. ECLIPSED is about experiencing and hearing from that voice which is often ECLIPSED; blocked from its potential and from the world's view. The goal of this piece of work - from my perspective, why I created it - is to give a platform, a space, and access to the voices we rarely hear. Those who remained for the talkback and got to hear from a survivor of this gender-based terror speak in her own words, received something they will not easily forget.

"Mr. Ogebe must be honored for his work to rescue these survivors and bring them to the US for an opportunity to pursue what the Boko Haram is determined to deny them: education and self-determination.

"ECLIPSED functions as a platform to give voice to this movement. We will dedicate each performance to a girl abducted and girls who have been abducted and not returned home both locally and internationally. We will name each performance in one of these girl's honor. ECLIPSED is a platform for activism, as well as an opportunity to expose our audiences to narratives rarely told and challenge and equip them with the tools to get involved in making a difference in the lives of women and girls living and surviving in war zones all over the world."

Front Row Productions presents the new play ECLIPSED by Danai Gurira, now on Broadway following its sold-out, critically acclaimed production at The Public Theater last fall. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o stars, joined by Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh. ECLIPSED, directed by Liesl Tommy, began previews on February 23, 2016 and officially opened on March 6, 2016 on Broadway at the Golden Theatre (252 W. 45th Street).

ECLIPSED is the story of five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia. They forge a close-knit community... one that inspires them to feats of increasingly greater strength. ECLIPSED marks a historic moment on Broadway: the first time the cast, director, and playwright are composed entirely of female artists, fitting for a production that so stunningly chronicles the experiences of a group of very resilient women.

ECLIPSED recently received three Lucille Lortel Award nominations for its celebrated Off-Broadway run: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Director and Outstanding Costume Design.

The creative team includes Clint Ramos (Scenic & Costume Design), Jen Schriever (Lighting Design), Broken Chord (Original Music and Sound Design), and Cookie Jordan (Hair, Wig and Make-up Design).

ECLIPSED is proud to participate in 10,000 Girls, an initiative to bring ten thousand girls to see the show. These young women would be from the Tri-State area between the ages of 16 to 24, and would likely never have the opportunity to attend a Broadway show. For more information, visit www.tenthousandgirls.com.

ECLIPSED is produced by Stephen C. Byrd, Alia Jones-Harvey, Paula Marie Black, Carole Shorenstein Hayes, Alani "LaLa" Anthony, Mike Magers, Kenny Ozoude, Willette Klausner, Davelle, Dominion Pictures, Emanon Productions, FG Productions, The Forstalls, MA Theatricals, and The Public Theatre.



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