Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Eclipsed Star Pascale Armand
March 28th, 2016
by Pascale Armand
Danai Gurira's acclaimed drama Eclipsed introduces Broadway audiences to the dynamic four wives of an unseen Liberian warlord. It's a thought-provoking, game-changing night at the theatre and luckily filled with comic relief thanks fan favorite, Wife No. 3 (aka Bessie), brilliantly played by Pascale Armand.
During the course of the show, Bessie goes from the funny pregnant wife worried about her wig to a new mother with an incredibly tough decision to make. Below, BroadwayBox gets to know the scene-stealing star a bit better as we hear from Armand about her long journey with the show, how she felt inspired by Viola Davis, and the ShondaLand series she can't miss.
1. Line from Eclipsed I find myself thinking about most outside of the theatre:
It's not my line, but in Helena's monologue in the end when she is says, "I don't know what GO mean! What it mean?" So simple and yet a question that each woman must contemplate its meaning for herself by the end of the show.
2. The biggest way Bessie/No. 3 has changed or grown since I first played her at Yale/McCarter Theatre in 2009:
I am paying more attention to the hierarchical structure within the compound. The world that we live in is regimented within an inch of its life and it works best when each woman "stays in her lane", so to speak.
3. Having done The Convert and Eclipsed, I’m drawn to Danai’s writing because:
Danai writes for the African woman and from her perspective, giving voice to one that is usually muffled, heard at lower decibels, and/or usually silenced and ignored.
4. The comment I hear most from friends and family who have seen Eclipsed:
"If not for your performance, Eclipsed would be a hard play to watch."
5. My bucket list Shakespeare role:
Lady M, if I must stay within gender restrictions. If not, then, after seeing Zainab Jah do it, I'd throw my hat in the ring to play Hamlet. She was brilliant and I LOVE a challenge!
6. The story behind learning stilt walking is:
I was doing a play at NYU, a piece called Many Colors Make the Thunder-King by Femi Osofisan and my character, Alapandede, was very tall, towering over everyone. So Bart Sher, the director, put me on stilts.
7. My biggest pinch-me moment professionally has been:
On opening night of Eclipsed at the Public, I met Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner who is world renowned for leading the Liberian women's peace movement that ended the Liberian war. That was months ago and since then, she has come back to see the show on Broadway. Each time I know I am going to be in her presence, I fangirl like CRAZY!
8. The performance I saw that made me want to be an actor:
Being an actor was a no-brainer for me. The performance that solidified the caliber of actor I wanted to be was Viola Davis' performance in August Wilson's King Hedley. That woman breathes the human experience.
9. TV show I love so much I’ve probably seen every episode:
Grey's Anatomy. Thank goodness for on demand! I have missed so much of it this season because of my schedule, but I will catch up!
10. I have been known to completely nerd out over:
Doing my taxes and paying bills. I want no trouble from Uncle Sam!
Don't miss Pascale Armand's incredible performance as Wife No. 3/Bessie in 'Eclipsed' at the Golden Theatre.