Archive for August, 2011
Trey Anthony. Actor, comedian, playwright, producer, CEO. Yep, Ms. Anthony’s got a lot of impressive titles, but at least one more must be added- juggernaut! Trey’s friends say, “don’t tell Trey no! She won’t accept the word!” In fact, after my interview with Trey on a steamy August day at the ENWAVE Theatre on Queen’s Quay in Toronto, I have to say, the word “no” just springs Trey into action. This tiny, she’s 5’3″- tops, theatrical dynamo packs a persuasive punch. Her laugh is infectious and her drive to get what she wants is undeniable.
While working as a producer at the then Women’s Television Network- now known as W- Trey was none too happy with the direction of her career, so she wrote a play, giving voice to the many different experiences of Canadian women of colour. That play, titled ‘Da Kink in my Hair’, went on to much acclaim, winning several NAACP image awards and played to sold out audiences at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto in 2005. Then, in 2007, even though it would be the first time a Canadian Black woman would do so, Trey wrote, produced and starred in the TV version of ‘Da Kink in my Hair’ on Global. After a couple of groundbreaking years on the small screen followed by a disappointing cancellation of the show, Trey wasn’t ready to give up, she was ready to get back to the stage, saying she missed it’s intimacy and the immediate response from a very present audience.
This time around ‘Da Kink in my Hair’ is- believe it or not-bolder and broader, with musical scores and a range of characters every woman can identify with and every man has at least known. But the road back to the stage wasn’t easy. A whole bunch of folks said it wouldn’t work a second time around. What happens when Trey hears “no”?! That’s right! She turns that “no” into a yes! The petite playwright walked into the Toronto Dominion Bank, pitched her play in all it’s revamped glory and obtained the all important corporate funding which allows theatre in North America and particularly Canada to exist!
Another triumph for Trey! The play enjoyed an extended run at Enwave Theatre. Next stop for the woman who won’t take “no” for an answer? She heads stateside where she’ll showcase the play to thousands of theatre goers in the new year. Trey’s also working on a novel and she’s got her sights set on the small screen again, this time hosting her own talk show. If the show turns out to be anything like her pioneering play, the TV world is in for a treat filled with potent honesty and sweet, non stop laughter.