Lupita Nyong’o made her Broadway debut this weekend with Eclipsed. Danai Gurira’s play, about a group of women held captive during Liberia’s second civil war, began its run Sunday at the Golden Theatre, where it remains till the middle of June. Before taking the stage, however, Nyong’o shared a list of 12 facts she wanted her fans to know before coming to the show. “We are the first play on Broadway to be written, directed and performed by ALL WOMEN,” she wrote. “I first played my character as an understudy in Drama School. I never went on, and I promised myself back then that I would play ‘The Girl’ some day, somehow, somewhere and it’s mindblowing to get to do it on Broadway.” The Oscar-winning actress’s note also provides info about Liberia’s history, Eclipsed’s cast, and her super chill pre-performance ritual.
Read the full message, complete with Lupita Nyong’o stationery, below:
1. This is my Broadway debut! Such a thrill. I can’t believe it.
2. We are the first play on Broadway to be written, directed and performed by ALL WOMEN. Making history!
3. Liberia is a country on the West African coast that was founded by freed and free-born African-Americans, and was thus a colony of the United States!
4. The play takes place during the second Liberian Civil War when the Women’s Peace Movement helped bring an end to the war in 2003 through nonviolence movements, including a sex strike.
5. Leymah Gbowee, one of the members of the initiative won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011!
6. I first played my character as an understudy in Drama School. I never went on, and I promised myself back then that I would play “The Girl” some day, somehow, somewhere and it’s mindblowing to get to do it on Broadway.
7. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after the United States’. The flag contains one star. This is why Liberia is called Africa’s Lone Star state.
8. Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic. The capital city is Monrovia, named after American President James Monroe.
9. Being in the play is an emotionally intense experience for me, and it means a lot to me to see your bright faces afterwards at the stage door each night. Thank you!
10. Some of the countries represented in our cast and show are: Kenya, Liberia, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Ghana, USA, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Philippines.
11. Before the curtain goes up, you can typically find me knitting backstage. It helps calm the nerves!
12. The play opens today, March 6th! AAAH!! Visit EclipsedBroadway.com to get tickets. See you there!
Last year, Nyong’o played the Girl for the production’s off-Broadway stint at the Public Theater. New York’s Jesse Green wrote then that she brought “a haunting innocence we may not have expected, and a vivid emotional legibility.” Of her Broadway turn, Green said: “Nyong’o has managed to burrow further into her portrayal of the Girl, a feat that did not seem possible back in October. The intelligence and variety of her choices, the naturalism of her reactions to trauma, the fear constantly leaking through her bravado: All are deeper now.” For more info on Eclipsed (and for those tickets!), head here.