HAIR’itage, The Play showcased in Oakland on Saturday, Nov. 18th at Skyline High School and uniquely portrayed the evolution of the Black woman’s hair. Through the lenses of six “sistahs”- with a variety of hairstyles and grades of hair – characters shared how their crowns have defined their image of self, relationships, and careers.
Written and produced by award-winning playwright, Niccole Nero Gaines, the play realistically showed the love-hate relationship women have with their hair along with the trials and triumphs of fears, jealousy, and adoration. The play also deals with the acceptance or rejection from their mates, peers, and parents.
“The production is a step beyond the popular Love Your Hair, Love Yourself, speech,” said Gaines. “It reveals how a woman defines herself by the hairstyle she chooses. Long, straight, bald, colored, or natural – women of all hair types will be impacted.”
The play came to life with actors; Eryn Barnes, Atika Greene Nyyeleti Khoza, Tianka McAdory, Kenesha Renay Gathers and Maiya Reeves.
Behind the scenes, contributors included Co-Director, Lovell Cartwright, Director Assistant, James. L. Cartwright, III and Stage Manager, Florence “Flo” Ward. Stories of experiences with braids, perms, weaves, hair color and natural hair were reflected in each character.
The depth of the humor and even in the most painful of experiences gave the audience a perspective beyond their own opinions and judgments. The audience reaction throughout the production showed just how well characters resonated with them.
During the intermission, tips on natural hair care were demonstrated and vendors sold hair products, accessories and gift items.
“The play is very powerful and speaks to what hair means to you, your life choices and even happiness,” said supporter, Regina Guillory.
Gaines also hopes Hair-tage the Play will continue to generate thought-provoking conversations in the community among women and thanked members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., for bringing the play to the Bay Area.