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Livingstone instructor’s play about domestic abuse to be performed tonight

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

Nowadays it’s hard to turn on the television news or pick up a local newspaper and not hear or read something about domestic violence.

But long before former NFL player Ray Rice was seen on videotape hitting his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator in February, and before NFL player Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault in an incident involving his 4-year-old son, domestic violence was a major problem in the United States and across the world.

Livingstone College instructor Michael D. Connor knows that, and that’s why he’s written a play titled “Dangerous Love,” which is being performed at 7 p.m. tonight in Tubman Little Theater. Admission is free; however, donations that will be used to help fund future performances will be accepted.

“The impetus for the play was to keep the conversation alive when it comes to domestic violence and abusive relationships in this country and in the world,” Connor said. “It was sparked, in part, by what’s going on in the National Football League; however, I also thought about what happened at Penn State University when I wrote the play, and I thought about other incidents of abuse that rose to national prominence.”

The play details a relationship in which one of the people involved has no idea the other plans to be controlling and dominant. It also addresses molestation of a 10-year-old boy by a priest as well as a situation in which a coach molests one of his players.

Connor said he thinks all people – no matter their race, education level or socio-economic background – should be aware of domestic violence and other types of violence. He also said he hopes young people will attend the play and take heed because high schools and college campuses aren’t immune to domestic violence.

“Some young girls are in very toxic relationships but actually may not be aware that they’re in danger,” Connor said. “I truly hope my play will help open the eyes of anyone who might be in denial about domestic violence. Love is not supposed to hurt, after all.”

Livingstone freshman Sharon Stevens came up with the play’s title and will perform the first monologue in the nearly 45-minute show, Connor said.

“Her scene deals with a young girl being molested by her stepfather,” Connor said. “Parents are supposed to love their children, but in her monologue the love being demonstrated is dangerous love, thus, the play’s title.”

Connor said Livingstone students have been rehearsing the play, which he directs, for a month. Admission isn’t being charged because making money isn’t always what’s important, he said.

“We were more concerned about getting the word out and giving students an important project to work on than we were making money from the performance,” Connor said. “We want to make people more aware of the warning signs to look for in the relationships they form, particularly in male/female relationships. Tubman Little Theater seats just over 300 people, and I truly hope it’s packed tonight for this performance.”

Want to Go?

“Dangerous Love” is being performed at 7 p.m. tonight in Tubman Little Theater at Livingstone College. Donations are accepted.





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