037: Director Michele Okoh brings the heroes of ECLIPSED to the stage as part of the Women’s Theatre Festival

The first play with an all-Black and all-female cast and creative team to premiere on Broadway, ECLIPSED by Danai Gurira (Black Panther, The Walking Dead) is making it’s regional premiere this summer in the Women’s Theatre Festival. Theatre director Michele Okoh offers her powerful and passionate perspective on the themes of the play, the definition of heroism, and the importance of representation on-stage and off. 

Michele Okoh is excited to be working again with the Women’s Theatre Festival to direct this season’s production of Eclipsed by Danai Gurira. Michele made her directorial debut with WTF last season with Music with Her Silver Sound.  She has extensive training in improvisational theater and has appeared in numerous plays and performances with The Arts Center, Playhouse of Wilson, Duke University, ULL and DSI. When Michele is not directing, she enjoys spending time with her son Dante and leading worship for her church. She also works as an attorney and manages her own law practice, Okoh Law Firm.

ECLIPSED takes place in 2003 and tells the story of five Liberian women and their tale of survival near the end of the Second Liberian Civil War.

ECLIPSED opens on July 27 and runs until August 5 at the The Fruit in Durham. Buy tickets!

Women’s Theatre Festival will be collecting diapers for World Relief Durham at every performance. Please contribute if you can. Beverly Yekeson, survivor of the Second Liberian Civil War, will be the opening night speaker. After the matinee on July 29th there will be a talkback with Durham Crisis Response Center about sexual violence.

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! This episode was recorded at the ASBX home studio.

Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Michele’s bio.

[1:45] Michele’s connection with the Women’s Theatre Festival and why their mission resonates with her

[3:45] How did Michele get started in theatre? Representation matters. “You can’t be an actress, you don’t look like one.”

[7:00] Participation in the arts as a form of self care. Michele has her own law practice, Okoh Law Firm, and yet she still makes space to participate in theatre as a way of nourishing herself.

[9:16] Why did Michele choose Danai Gurira’s play, ECLIPSED? What is her perspective on this piece?

[13:55] The women in ECLIPSED are heroes. “Women are Heroes” is the theme of the Women’s Theatre Festival for 2018.

[15:31] As the director, what was Michele looking for from actors during the auditions?

[21:37] What is the definition of a hero? When does one become a hero? “A hero needs their strengths applied.” What about push back?

[27:54] Why has it taken so long for a regional premiere of ECLIPSED?

[29:24] Everyone I’ve spoken to is so excited to work on this production. Why is that? “If we don’t, who will?” What is Michele most excited about as she goes into rehearsal?

[31:50] What’s next for Michele?

[32:12] Thanks and sign-off

Artist Soapbox podcast is a listener supported podcast. If you listen, please support the podcast by sharing episodes with friends and contributing via our Patreon campaign.

If you have feedback, questions, suggestions, please email artistsoapbox@gmail.com. FEEDBACK IS EVERYTHING TO ASBX.

2 thoughts on “037: Director Michele Okoh brings the heroes of ECLIPSED to the stage as part of the Women’s Theatre Festival”

  1. Pingback: 038: Managing Director Johannah Maynard Edwards advocates for inclusion, develops structures for growth, and turns problems into solutions – Artist Soapbox

  2. Pingback: 072: Representation matters. Stepping out of boxes with Director Michele Okoh ⋆ Artist Soapbox

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Declaration of Love, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

IG-Size-The-New-Colossus-Gull-Photo

The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.

MASTER BUILDER300

Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.

DOL-logo

Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”

ASBX-shorts-1

ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

Scroll to Top