The stories of Black women’s hair are stepping into the spotlight in Charlotte, North Carolina. The new play, “The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls,” will have it’s regional debut there.
Written by Texas-born screenwriter and journalist Keli Geoff, the play details the joys of Black hair. It highlights the centuries-long fight Black women have led to honor the beauty of their locks.
The play is making its debut at the Three Bone Theatre in Charlotte on May 20 through the work of director Tina Kelly. Kelly is an arts advocate who supports local playwrights through the Queen City New Play Initiative.
A Celebration of Black Hair
Speaking to the Charlotte Observer, Kelly said a play like “Glorious” is vital in highlighting the discrimination and negative experiences Black women have faced for celebrating their hair.
“Black women’s hair was considered too alluring and we were always actually made to wrap our hair up and… that’s where scarves and things like that came from in the Western World,” Kelly told the Charlotte Observer. “The way that our looks have been policed for so long, I think that it’s important that we have works like this.”
Kelly has been a director for four years. She added that she knew she wanted to work on the play from her first look at the script.
“When I read the script, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I need to be a part of this,’” Kelly said.
The play includes monologues and ensemble-led scenes. However, Kelly aims to add her own mark to the regional debut of the production. There will be the addition of creative elements like short films and shadow theater.
Battle for Black Hair Continues
The regional production of The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls comes at a moment when Black women are continuing to wage a battle against hair discrimination in both the workplace and their daily lives.
The CROWN Act continues to make its way through state legislatures across the country. It was recently sent to the desk of Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and the US Virgin Islands have enacted CROWN Act legislation.