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StageNotes Unveils ECLIPSED Digital Curriculum on International Women's Day

To coincide with International Women's Day, Broadway curriculum publisher StageNotes has unveiled an official digital toolkit inspired by the powerful new play, ECLIPSED, written by Zimbabwean-American playwright and actress Danai Gurira, which is now playing on Broadway at the Golden Theatre.

Amy Heathcott, writer/educator and editor of StageNotes.net, oversaw the development of the ECLIPSED-inspired digital toolkit. "The theater has the power to transform a personal story into a universal, hopeful and empowering message that inspires social action and change. ECLIPSED is about five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia. Together they create a close-knit community that enables them to cope with personal trauma and see the possibilities ahead of them. This provocative story provides students and young audiences with a relevant illustration of courage and the grit it takes to overcome one's own circumstance."

The digital toolkit is available free online at www.stagenotes.net. It is a standards-aligned resource designed for use in today's classroom that includes insights from the show's creative team, production photography, history of Liberia and its civil wars, background on traditional African dress and food of the region, links to authorized interactive educational and cultural resources, as well as suggested lessons and class activities in social studies and conflict resolution.

Launched to coincide with International Women's Day (Tuesday, March 8, 2016), a global campaign that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, the ECLIPSED toolkit also includes lessons provided by the United States Institute of Peace Global Peacebuilding Center, to celebrate the role of women in promoting, achieving and maintaining peace all around the world.

ECLIPSED producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey envisioned a social outreach initiative called ECLIPSED: 10,000 Girls Campaign which enables thousands of young women, ages 13-24, to attend a performance of ECLIPSED during its limited engagement in New York. The program also includes StageNotes educational materials that amplify the themes of this timely story. Playwright Danai Gurira is a spokeswoman.

"Calling the play ECLIPSED was about saying there is a great light in these breathing, vivid characters who have personality and flavor. The idea is that their light has not been destroyed, it's been blocked. But an eclipse is temporary. So, the hope in the title is that we will eventually start to see these women's faces, to hear them and know them," Gurira said.

ECLIPSED is directed by South African-born Liesl Tommy and stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh. It is the first show on Broadway to be written, directed and performed entirely by female artists.

Broadway Education Alliance (BEA) is the fiscal sponsor of ECLIPSED: 10,000 Girls Campaign. BEA is a New York-based 501.3c organization dedicated to presenting arts-inspired education and enrichment programs that promote confidence and purpose in today's youth. "Eclipsing hardship is a profound concept to learn at any age," says BEA director Brian W. Curran. "Our team is proud to support the initiative to enable young women to experience this empowering story told by commanding women who look like them on stage in the hope that all the elements spark their imagination and have a positive impact on their lives." Individuals or organizations can sponsor girls by making a tax-deductible donation and learn more about the program at www.bealliance.org.

ECLIPSED was originally produced at The Public Theater and is now playing at the Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th Street, through June 19, 2016.



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