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Eclipsed (Salmon drama)
ISBN 1897648340 / 9781897648346 / 1-897648-34-0
Publisher Salmon Publishing
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Patricia Burke Brogan's Eclipsed is a play with a stinger in its tail. Framed by a present-day prologue and epilogue, the two-act work is set mainly in 1963 in a convent laundry at St. Paul's Home for Penitent Women in Killmacha, Ireland. The Galway-based author is a former nun who worked in an institutional laundry when she was a novice. Eclipsed was inspired by the practice - which started in the time of the Famine, and lasted well into the 1960s and even longer - of making pregnant and unwed Irish mothers work as 'penitents' in church-run laundries. Supervised by nuns who regarded these women as mindless vessels of evil, the women were treated as virtual slaves and their infants were forcibly put up for adoption. First produced by Punchbag Theatre in Galway on February 14th 1992, Eclipsed has since been performed all over Ireland as well as in England, Scotland, America and Italy. The play won a Fringe First at the 1992 Edinburgh Festival, as well as the prestigious Moss Hart Theatre Award in 1994. It was also awarded the Critics' Choice and Best of the Weekend by the Los Angeles Times in 1995 and received four nominations for the Los Angeles Theatre Area Awards and two awards from Dramalogue. Eclipsed was first published by Salmon Publishing in 1994 and reprinted in 1997. [via]