Danai Gurira Delivers On and Off Broadway

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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Pascale Armand, Lupita Nyong'o, and Saycon Sengbloh star in Danai Gurira's 'Eclipsed.' (Joan Marcus)

Zimbabwean-American playwright Dania Gurira is having a moment. Her play Eclipsed has just transferred to Broadway in a production starting Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o at the Golden Theatre, and her work, Familiar, is now running at Playwrights Horizons. New York Times theater crick Charles Isherwood joins us to talk about this notable feat. 

"For dead white men it's not that unusual," to have two plays simultaneously on stage in New York City, he says, adding, "but for a black women it's quite remarkable. And in fact Eclipsed has made history in the sense that it's the first Broadway play that is directed by written by and entirely acted by black women."

Eclipsed is the darker of the two works, exploring of the brutal treatment of women during the Liberian civil war. Familiar provides a little more levity, as it follows the drama set in motion when a Zimbabwean aunt visits her family in Minnesota.

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