Editor’s Note: In celebration of Southern Rep’s newest play, Eclipsed–written by Danai Gurira and directed by Malika Oyetimein–we talked with the five women who will take the stage opening night on April 18. Eclipsed is the story of five women, and their lives are set on a nightmarish detour by the Liberian Civil War. As they navigate the dangers of captivity and imagine what the future could hold, the arrival of a new girl threatens to upend their delicately balanced community.
Southern Rep’s production of Eclipsed will run from April 18- May 16 (Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3:00 at Loyola University, Marquette Theatre). You can purchase tickets here.
Name: Valentina Imokhai
Role in Eclipse: The Girl
Favorite line from the play: “I want her to be happy, to be blessed by God”
What advice in life would you take from your character?
Even in the midst of chaos do not stop dreaming and believing in your dreams.
What ritual do you have to get ready for the performance?
I start with some vocal warmups, a prayer, and I also do a group prayer with the cast. After that, I just wait backstage, because it’s dark and quiet, and I reflect on my character.
If you could take one nice of the set design with you, what would it be and why?
I would take the Girl’s tub, because I remember the first time I got in it. It was very uncomfortable, and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to use it in the show, but then I kept practicing in it, and it’s actually gotten quite comfortable, especially because it’s warm in the tub and not so warm in the theater.
Why is performing this play in New Orleans, especially incredibly important?
Performing this play anywhere would be incredibly important because this is a story that needs to be heard by everyone, including Liberians. There is something very important about being aware and woke. This play may consist of only women of color, but it is a story for every race, gender, and age. If I could I would love to bring this story to the world one performance at a time.
What was the most common food ordered/eaten during rehearsal?
Mini Ahoy cookies/coffee