Lupita Nyong’o has been taking it pretty slowly since breaking onto the Hollywood scene with her Oscar-winning performance in 2013’s 12 Years a Slave. She had a small role in the Liam Neeson-starring “Liam Neeson Action Film” Non-Stop, and voice-acted the role of Maz Kanata in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. She’s ramping up this week, though, as she stars in the broadway play Eclipsed, which opened March 6. Nyong’o took to Twitter before the play’s first show with a handwritten note to educate her followers about the circumstances of her performance and the context of the play’s story.
The note is helpfully broken down into a numbered list, a fact which has lead to unsubstantiated rumors of Nyong’o being a one-time intern at Buzzfeed. Regardless, the letter is heartfelt and illustrates clearly and Nyong’o has invested a lot of herself into her part and the story of the play, which is set during the second Liberian Civil War, which ended in 2003.
Equally as important as the story being told is the fact that Eclipsed is the first play on Broadway that was written by, directed by, and performed by only women. In fact, the play was written by Danai Gurira, who is probably best known as Michonne on The Walking Dead. If early reviews are any indication, Gurira’s play and Nyong’o’s performance are spectacular.
Read her full note below. Pretty excellent penmanship, right?
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!