Stage: Three Bone Theatre Presents “The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks, and Curls”
Patrice Wilson writes, "'Glorious World' gives voice, courage, and to women all around the world"
A quick listen to Solange’s song “Don’t Touch My Hair” on any streaming platform will give you a glimpse inside the relationship between a Black woman and her hair. It’s a relationship that Three Bone Theater’s new production of “The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks, and Curls” intimately explores.
The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks, and Curls
Presented by Three Bone Theatre
Director: Tina Kelly
Playwright: Keli Goff
May 5-20, 2023
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Arts Factory at West End Studios
1545 W Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28216
Written by playwright Keli Goff, “Glorious World” premiered in Charlotte this past weekend. The breathtaking narrative gives voice to a silent struggle that has been so intimately tied to a Black woman’s self-esteem and how she wears her crown: the struggle with her hair. From beginning to end, this play illuminates the experiences of melanated women throughout different stages in history and their lives as they encounter the perils of rejection and the joys of acceptance, stemming from the roots of their hair follicles to their ends.
Charlotte Native Tina Kelly’s captivating direction evokes guttural reactions from the audience. The production team maneuvered like a silk press as purposeful lighting, sound, stage décor, and props flawlessly transitioned the audience from narrative to narrative along the journey. The talented cast is composed of beautiful, bold, and brave Black women of different shades and body types.
These powerful women (Ashleigh Gilliam, Ka’Shara Hall, Cailin Harrison, Vanessa Robinson, Dior Scott, and Michelle M. Washington) take you hand in hand with them as they journey through self-acceptance, defying societal standards and limitations, and embracing the beauty of their crown, together. The audience was so captivated that when the actors laughed, they laughed; when the actors cried they cried; when the women on stage were furious as fuck, the audience held space for them and was furious too.
This was more than a traditional theater experience, expressly because Three Bone Theater is an intimate space that allows the audience and the actors to be face to face. The seating and stage arrangement pulls in the audience and encourages them to become more invested in the narrative than one would be in a larger theater space.
Additionally, the closeness of this arrangement makes the actors feel more real and relatable, allowing the audience to access an understanding and sharing of compassion that is normally only reserved for a close friend or loved one. This further cultivates and supports the vulnerability of the space, so much so that their story is no longer just their story; it becomes our story.
From Michelle M. Washington’s depiction of a young girl praying to God for “good” hair, to a woman’s mother outwardly expressing disgust at her daughter’s hair choice for her wedding day, “The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls” gives voice, courage, and power to women all around the world who have been silenced, shamed, and made to feel powerless, one kink, curl, and crown, at a time.
This is a must see for the whole family.
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