12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o, who’s also about to be seen as the motion-capture character Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will continue with Eclipsed when it moves to Broadway in February. The drama, written by Zimbabwean-American playwright and actress Danai Gurira (co-author of In The Continuum and Michonne on AMC’s The Walking Dead) and staged by Liesl Tommy, will begin previews at the Shubert Organization’s Golden Theatre on February 23 prior to an official opening night March 6.
Nyong’o plays a young woman forced to join a group of “wives” who are in fact sex slaves to the leader of a rebel band in the Liberian civil war. The drama opened last week to laudatory reviews at the Public Theater, where its limited run continues through November 29. Lead producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey will head the team transferring the production.
Over the past decade, Byrd has had an increasingly high profile on Broadway with revivals of contemporary and established classics (Romeo And Juliet, The Trip To Bountiful, A Streetcar Named Desire) toplining such stars as Orlando Bloom, Cicely Tyson, Blair Underwood and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Assuming the continued runs of Hamilton and Fun Home, Eclipsed will mark the third Public Theater show run concurrently on Broadway, a feat unmatched since 1977 and 1978, when founder Joseph Papp was running both the New York Shakespeare Festival complex downtown and the Broadway-qualified Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center.
“I am thrilled beyond words that we are able to bring this magnificent and powerful play to Broadway after its sold-out performance at the Public Theater and to provide another opportunity for everyone to experience and witness these incredible performances,” Byrd said in announcing the move. In addition to Jones-Harvey, the producing team includes Paula Marie Black, Willette Klausner, Carole Shorenstein Hays and the Public.