Baltimore Center Stage is a month away from launching its first production for 2021, and it’s a fitting theme for the city that was once called The Hairdo Capital of the World. The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls is the name of the play, which is having its world premiere in Baltimore with an all-Black cast and artistic team.
As with many other local events this year, the show will be presented virtually rather than in person. That means it will be performed on the company’s Mainstage and filmed, and the filmed version will then be streamed online to those who buy a ticket. Opening night is March 18 and the play will continue online until April 11.
Written by Keli Goff, the play is a collection of monologues, in the tradition of The Vagina Monologues and For Colored Girls…, that explore “the complex relationship that women have with their hair,” as Baltimore Center Stage put it in a press release. All of the major creative and crew roles for the production are filled by Black women.
Here is more of Baltimore Center Stage’s description:
“From afros to braids, weddings and funerals, falling in love, to grieving a loss, these stories serve as a powerful reminder that for Black women in particular, hair is both deeply personal and political. Perfect for the virtual stage, these intimate stories will take audiences on an unparalleled journey into the world of Black womanhood.”
“The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls is a play about self-love,” said director Bianca LaVerne Jones, in a statement. “It highlights Black hair stories of oppression of self and from outsiders. We are going to address it, get real about it, call it out and HEAL. The Glorious World will lay on display the intimate emotions and stories of Black women and their hair.”
Goff is a “multi-platform storyteller” who has been a documentary producer, screenwriter and journalist. Born and raised in Texas, a graduate of New York University and Columbia University, she is currently a writer for the Sex and the City revival, “And Just Like That…”
The cast of ‘Glorious World’ includes Stori Ayers, Awa Sal Secka and Shayna Small. Stephanie Ybarra, artistic director for Baltimore Center Stage, predicts the play will lift up the voices of Black women in the national dialogue.
“What Keli is doing in this piece is bigger than Baltimore Center Stage and is bigger than the American Theatre,” Ybarra said in a statement. “She’s calling in some of the biggest conversations happening in our society as well as some of the most intimate and personal ones…I’m so grateful for the opportunity to support Keli, Bianca and this incredible team of Black artists.”
Ticket prices are $15 for seniors and students, $25 for an individual and $40 for a household. Ticket information is available at www.centerstage.org or 410-332-0033.