This blog post was written by Grace Han, Girls Write Now mentee. Girls Write Now was invited to attend a performance of Broadway’s Eclipsed.
Just on the outskirts of the brightly-lit Times Square sits the Golden Theatre — home of a small hut that sets the stage for Eclipsed, was a play about the role of women as fighters, as peace restorers, and as captives of rebel fighters during the Second Liberian Civil War (1999).
Upon stepping into the theater, I was immediately hit with the awesomeness of how great the show was going to be. When my ticket was professionally scanned under an official scanner, I felt so cool and I was so excited! I took my seat on the balcony alongside the seventeen other girls, and when the lights dimmed, Girls Write Now was transported to Liberia, Africa during its Civil War.
New York’s iconic Broadway shows are known to be spectacular with everlasting set changes, dazzling costumes, and grand props. Well, the only set change that happened was the rotations of the small broken-down shack; the only costumes that the actresses wore were dresses and the traditional Liberian garment, lapas, as a head wrap; the only props used were a gun and plastic buckets — loads of them. But the dazzling grandness of this spectacular show is in the everlasting story of the power of women, even during the times of captivity and war. The women in captivity had no names; they were only identified as Wife Number 1, Wife Number 2, Wife Number 3, and the Girl. However, it was by their stories and their personalities that I was able to distinguish and remember each of them. The Girl, played by Ayesha Jordan that night, reminded me that the path to self-discovery, though a constant struggle, is still full of life-changing opportunities, something that she demonstrated as she fired a gun for the first time, read a book with the other wives, and discovered a name for herself. There was laughter, tears, anger, joy on and off the stage that night as Girls Write Now heard the stories of these women as they found their identity and claimed their name.
Eclipsed is making history about history. It is the first Broadway production where the playwright, director, and cast are all women — and to be a part of that was an experience in itself. And for that, thank you to Broadway Alliance for this opportunity to witness history in the making, and thank you to the cast and staff of Eclipsed for making history.
I walked out of the theatre that night, on my return from Africa through the streets of Times Square, feeling empowered. Eclipsed has not only allowed me personal growth and renewed my understanding of womanhood but the show cemented the bond between the Girls Write Now mentees. Together, we had just witnessed the stories of sisterhood. After all, the girls of the Writing & Mentoring Program and the girls of the Digital Media Mentoring Program are like sisters, taking on this world with writing and media, respectively, and most importantly, together. And for this, thank you Girls Write Now!