Canadian comedian and playwright Trey Anthony is set to explode on the American market.
The first Black Canadian woman to write and produce a television show for a major prime time Canadian station recently signed a deal with Decosta Marketing Inc. which is one of North America’s leading brand management and licensing companies.
The company, which has offices in the Greater Toronto Area and Los Angeles, manages the brand image of some of Hollywood’s top stars, including Will Smith, Kevin James, Lionel Ritchie, Robin Thicke and Jamie Foxx.
Anthony produced Da Kink in My Hair, which made its full-length dramatic debut at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2001, boasting the highest ticket sales that year.
The play, which won four National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People’s (NAACP) Theatre awards and was nominated for four Toronto Theatre Dora awards, ran for a week in October 2010 at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts.
“The play has received tremendous success in Canada and Europe and now it’s finally time to bring it to the United States,” said DeCosta’s president, Jesse DeCosta, who lives in Mississauga with his wife and two children. “There is great opportunity for marketing and branding recognition aimed at the U.S. market. Together, we are going to bring this production to new heights providing nothing but quality material for the fans.”
Raised in Edmonton, DeCosta was a brand manager for Canadian rhythm & blues singer-songwriter and actress, Deborah Cox. He manages late rapper Tupac Shakur’s brand and was recently retained by the Jackson brothers to create a website and manage the family’s entertainment assets.
Anthony, who spent last week in the GTA, said she’s thrilled to be in DeCosta’s fold.
“This is really about giving my work a bigger platform and creating more exposure for my brand,” said the award-winning playwright, who relocated to Atlanta in November 2010. “The company will develop an online destination for my fans, producers and industry types to learn and engage with me and my productions. They will also reinvent my YouTube channel with new interactive videos like Kink Cam, Trey Tube and Secrets of Salon.
“Da Kink in My Hair has really changed the face of theatre and television in Canada and Europe. I am just so excited to be working with DeCosta to actualize my dreams to bring the Da Kink in My Hair brand to the American market.”
Global TV, which adapted the sitcom as a television series, cancelled the show after the second season. Anthony then ran a wellness centre for women in downtown Toronto for two years before heading south of the border to pursue creative opportunities.
“I have followed Tyler Perry’s career very closely and if he thinks Atlanta is the place for him to be the powerhouse that he is, then there is where I need to be at,” said the 2009 Harry Jerome Award winner. “I admire his business acumen and I really respect how he has built his brand and established his niche market.”
Last year, Anthony and her best friend, Rachael Lea-Rickards, were invited to a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show during its 24th and final season. They won a trip to a week-long retreat at the Miraval Resort & Spa in Arizona.
By RON FANFAIR