At what point does the abominable become mundane? At what point is a woman raped so much that she can shrug it off? At what point does she become so immune to violence against herself that she can turn around and become the perpetrator, the pimp and the executioner? And at what point does our isolation and ignorance of these events make us culpable?
These are pretty hard core questions. You wouldn’t expect it to be actually enjoyable to plumb these depths. But Woolly Mammoth’s production of “Eclipsed” succeeds.
Playwright Danai Gurira is a Zimbabwean-American whose interviews with Liberian women who had fought and survived its brutal civil war provide the intense realism of the play. It’s this informed backbone that drives the action beyond the sentimentalism that can poison pieces on women in war, and director Liesl Tommy finds the humor in those ugly depths as well, avoiding any pity party.
Five very different women – three tied to a warlord’s camp, a rebel soldier, and a peace negotiator – all share a common trait. Despite the horror of their lives, they adapt with a tenacious survival instinct. Continue reading