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Baltimore Center Stage Announces All Black Women Cast And Artistic Team For THE GLORIOUS WORLD

This show is Baltimore Center Stage's first play of the 2020/21 Season.

Baltimore Center Stage has announced the cast and artistic team for the world premiere of The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls, the first offering of the Mainstage Series. The play will be delivered solely virtually.

The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curlsis a world premiere play written by multiplatform storyteller Keli Goff. A collection of monologues in the tradition of For Colored Girls...,The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls explores the complex relationship women have with their hair, and reveals that for Black women in particular, hair is deeply personal and political.

Playwright Keli Goff has previously written about the politics of hair as a journalist. An Emmy nominated documentary producer, she also works as a screenwriter and recently joined the writers' room of the Sex and the City revival, And Just Like That..., announced last week. In addition to Goff, all of the major creative and crew roles for this production are filled by a team of extraordinary Black women.

"The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls is a play about self love," said Director Bianca LaVerne Jones. "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."

The various stories in the play will be familiar and relatable to many Black women. "Twisted, curled, fried, picked and plaited, Black women have always had an adventurous and creative relationship with our hair," said Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage. "The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls is a funny, heartbreaking and ultimately healing play about the role hair plays in unbraiding, shaping and celebrating our Black identity." Nottage was joined in her praise of the play by other notables including feminist legend Gloria Steinem, supermodel Beverly Johnson and Harvard's Henry Louis Gates, Jr.( Please see additional page titled "Endorsements for The Glorious World...".)

The cast includes Stori Ayers*,Awa Sal Secka*, andShayna Small*. The artistic team includes Bianca LaVerne Jones (Director); Keli Goff (Playwright); Dede Ayite (Scenic and Costume Designer); Stacey Derosier (Lighting Designer); Diggle (Associate Scenic Designer); Lauren Jackson (Assistant Director); Nikiya Mathis (Hair & Wig Designer); Twi McCallum (Sound Designer); Dean Radcliffe-Lynes (Film & Post Production); David Lee Roberts Jr. (Video Director & Editor); Danielle Teague-Daniels* (Production Stage Manager); and Grace Chariya (Production Management/Stage Management Apprentice).

*Members of Actors' Equity Association.

"What Keli is doing in this piece is bigger than Baltimore Center Stage, and is bigger than the American Theatre - she's calling in some of the biggest conversations happening in our society, as well as some of the most intimate and personal ones," said Baltimore Center Stage Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra. "The constellation of stories that make up The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls center tenderness, nuance, and laughter, lifting up the voices of Black women in our national dialogue. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to support Keli, Bianca, and this incredible team of Black artists as they brilliantly craft this virtual theatrical experience to kick off our Mainstage Series."

This show is Baltimore Center Stage's first play of the 2020/21 Season. It is being produced in person and filmed. In order to produce in person, a detailed safety plan was developed in line with guidance from the city of Baltimore and the Centers for Disease Control. Actor's Equity Association, The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and United Scenic Artists approved this plan. The actors, director, company manager, and stage manager have entered a "bubble." After traveling by private vehicle and one week of quarantining, each member of the "bubble" received three negative Covid-19 test results before entering. No one in the "bubble" needs to leave for any reason, as groceries and any other necessities are being delivered. All members of the "bubble" are being tested weekly. The stage manager and director have worked together to craft a schedule that minimizes the amount of people at rehearsal at any one time. The play is being staged so that actors are at least six feet apart. The production is being distributed entirely virtually.

The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks and Curls begins streaming on March 25, 2021.

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