"If you want to know a woman, touch her hair. That's where she keeps all her hurts, all her joy, all her pain, all her life."
Those words of wisdom come from 'da Kink in My Hair, a play by Trey Anthony. And this theme was a natural fit for DevaCurl's upcoming Curls Night Out, a nationwide tour kicking off 7 p.m. June 17th at the Liberty Theater in Tyler, Texas with the event. The night will combine entertainment, inspiration and education, featuring curly celebrites, stylists and curlies.
Curls Night Out will feature real-life stories by local curly women – and men – from Texas. “The Curly Monologues” portion of the show provides a dynamic way for people to relate and connect, says Walsh.
'Da Kink in My Hair," set in a Caribbean hair salon, gives gives voice to black women who tell their unforgettable stories in a kaleidoscope of drumming, singing and dance. It is a testament to the challenges and triumphs in the lives of contemporary black women, many of who are immigrants to North America from the Caribbean. Mixing laughter and tears, revelation and inspiration, the unapologetically intense stories of each woman is woven together in this powerful piece. The play has since been adapted into a Canadian television sitcom. Based on the play of the same name.
If you want to know a woman, touch her hair. That's where she keeps all her hurts, all her joy, all her pain, all her life.
Playwright Anthony, who splits her time between Toronto and Atlanta, said the play came out of her frustration with the lack of substantive roles for black women. As an actress, she was sick of being cast in stereotypical roles like "Crackhead No. 1 or Baby Momma No 2."
"I loved theater, but felt it wasn't spreading to women of my generation," Anthony says. "I wanted black women - and all women - to see themselves in non-stereotypical roles."
A lot of the monologues were autobiographical. Anthony's aunt was a hairdresser, and she grew up in the salon. My uncle used to say "you can learn a lot about women by the state of her hair. It's a metaphor for what's going on in her life."
The play debuted in 2001 in Toronto and took on a life of its own. It has since played in theaters around the world, selling out at every venue. It was adapted for TV in 2007. Anthony attributes her play's success to the fact it has resonated with a wide range of women, transcending race, creed, sexuality and religion.
"People connect with theses women's stories," Anthony says. "It just keeps going and going."
Anthony was approached by DevaCurl President Colin Walsh, and it seemed "meant to be." "Our whole play is about hair and how black women deal with their hair.
Anthony hopes the collaboration with DevaCurl will provide a launching pad for a North American tour of her play.
The excerpts from 'Da Kink in My Hair" will join presentations by Michelle Breyer, co-founder and president of NaturallyCurly.com; Shai Amiel, world-renowned celebrity “Curl Doctor;” Dr. Lew Losconey, motivational speaker with a phD in Psycurlogy; and Stevie Jo Rosenbalm, a Top-20 finalist on the latest season of The Voice.
Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at www.curlsnightout.com. DevaCurl will host two more Curls Night Out events in the fall, and will move to 10 to 15 cities in 2015. The tour will culminate in a huge curl gathering – a “curlapalooza” - where thousands of curlies will be able to celebrate and connect.