An original short film by Christine Rodríguez

Poster design - Nalo Soyini Bruce


Lonely, isolated and disconnected from his roots, Manolo is an Afro-Cuban man who has reached a low point in his life. While his boss denigrates him constantly, Manolo finds hope after a chance meeting in the community centre where he works.

Seul, isolé et déconnecté de ses racines, Manolo est un homme Afro-cubain qui a touché le fond dans sa vie. Alors que son patron cherche à constamment l’humilier, Manolo retrouve espoir suite à une rencontre au centre communautaire dans lequel il travaille.

Solo, aislado y desconectado de sus raíces, Manolo es un hombre afrocubano que tocó fondo en su vida. Aunque su jefe lo denigra constantemente, Manolo halla la esperanza después de un encuentro inesperado en el centro comunitario en el que trabaja.

“Cambia, porque se te va, se te va la vida.”

Fuego is part of the Black Ink mentorship program of Black Wealth Media who will house the film on their website alongside other Black created content.

Fuego fait partie du programme de mentorat de Black Wealth Media qui présentera le film sur leur site web au côté d’autres créations afrocentriques.

Fuego hace parte de un programa de Black Wealth Media que promueve la creación de películas sobre la diáspora africana.

Here are samples of the costume designs:

Visit the facebook page to keep up to date with the production and additional info!

Written, directed and produced by Christine Rodriguez


​Danny Blanco-Hall

Daniel Loyer

Davide Chiazzese

Katherine Sideris

Abena Bentley

Director of Photography: Laura Torres

Sound Director, Mixing and Editing: Rob Denton

Art Direction and Design, Poster Design: Nalo Soyini Bruce

Film Editor: Juliette Crytes

Directing Mentor: Ivy Yukiko Ishihara Oldford

Musical Director and Original Music: Giovany Arteaga Valdes

Prodution Manager and Assistant Director: Kiki Dranias

Production Assistant: Imtiyaz Bandali

Co-produced and developed  under the mentorship of Black Ink/Encre Noire by Black Wealth Media.

Arts Club Theatre Production cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic


“If you want to know about a woman, touch her hair.” At Novelette’s Toronto salon, captivating stories untangle as eight distinctive women narrate their lives with honesty, humour, and joy. Both heartbreaking and uplifting, ’da Kink in my Hair is a musical testament to the challenges and triumphs in the lives of contemporary Black women. - Arts Club Theatre Company press release

Pages and research excerpts from my costume design workbook:

Part our design mission was to celebrate the colour and vibrancy of women exercising autonomy over their opinions, their choices, and their place in the world regardless of how society attempts to police their appearance and behaviour.

Many of these pages show a hairstyle for entering the salon, a hairstyle for leaving the salon, as well as a chic party look for later on in the play:

For many generations, black women’s hair has been the subject of intense discrimination.

Hair styling practices have included the application of heat and chemical straightening out of the necessity to appear more “civilized”, “respectable”, and ultimately “successful” in our western post-colonial culture. This widespread and institutionalized discrimination dates back to the early 1800s and continues to the present. Recent events of note are the signing of the California and New York State laws banning racial discrimination based on natural hairstyles. These laws were signed in July of 2019 and cover the wearing of afros, braids, cornrows, fades, Bantu knots, twists and locs.

Questions can also be raised with regards to the economic gains enjoyed by leaders in the beauty industry to continue to promote the need to buy racially specific hair products to ensure their customer base. The black beauty industry is worth approximately $2.7 billion US in the United States alone.

The natural hair of the actors is conceived to be worn in beautiful and expressive protective braided styles suitable for performing with or without the wigs.

A variety of textures and detailing in the numerous wigs, hair pieces and costumes is incorporated to elaborate on the individual strength and uniqueness of each character. These tactile qualities support the heart-wrenching monologues, often hilarious dialogues, energetic musical numbers and choreographies of Da Kink.

Elements from nature, like the floral lace detailing in the veils and the Azalea flower headdresses, represent temperance, passion, womanhood, and fragility.

Traditional African spiritual practices of the Yoruba (which include Obeah, Vodou, Santeria and Candomblé) have been integrated into the play to represent periods of healing and nurturing communion.

The driving force behind all design decisions is to express a collective self-image of black women today, in its dazzling and ever-evolving complexity.



  1. Celia Aloma as Stacey-Anne

  2. Jenni Burke as Miss Enid

  3. Lossen Chambers as Patsy

  4. Paige Fraser as Suzy

  5. Dawn Pemberton as Nia

  6. Monice Peter as Sherelle

  7. Katrina Reynolds as Sharmaine

  8. Nadine Roden as Novelette

Creative Team

  1. Ray Hogg Director

  2. Caitlin Hayes Music Director

  3. Kevin McAllister Set Designer

  4. Nalo Soyini Bruce Costume Designer

  5. Itai Erdal Lighting Designer

  6. Kate DeLorme Sound Designer

  7. Pamela Jakobs Stage Manager

  8. April Starr Land Assistant Stage Manager

© 2020 Nalo Soyini Design