Confessions of Women
Savannah College of Art and Design Media and Performing Arts senior Whitney Stallworth presented the final performance of her undergraduate thesis show Confessions of Women, and she delivered. She delivered the umpteenth version of a story that we have heard one too many times and find utterly draining to sit through. Going in the dimly lit Mondonaro Theater Beyonce was gushing through the speakers proclaiming if “I were a boy, I’d make the rules as I go.” This for me was expected, though it opens my mind to the thought that perhaps she would tell me something more than it’s so hard to find a good man. The set designer must have been a minimalist, the otherwise empty stage consisted of a couch and two side tables that served as the headquarters for overly bitter sistas who needed to drown out their sorrows in the melodic melodies of Lauryn Hill or yet another glass of champagne. The play opens with the birthday scene from the 1995 film adaptation of the Terry McMillan novel, Waiting To Exhale. The lights fade in “Happy Birthday Bernie!!!” the lights fade out and back in, the four black women are now inebriated and the sugar high from the cake has since left the building. What does enter the scene is sadness and sorrow lubricated by a single magnum of champagne. The first song, which I could not identify, was sung by a fabulously thin bitter seemly amateur gospel singer which later proved to be a woman scorn by a cheating husband who left her after 10 years of marriage for another woman. Actress Kendris Myers (Bernie) took to the spotlight like a natural and portrayed a character that was obviously much older. The educated voice of reason amongst an otherwise raging sea of stereotypes was Gloria played by Fredericka Anderson. Who gave a glimmer of hope to this pity party but was snuffed by the audacious and loud mouthed Robyn played by Jasmine Richardson who’s job it was to provide the obvious comic relief all the while littering the audiences ears with expletives. Afterwards Savannah, played by Whitney Stallworth, strains to belt out “Cry me a River” originally written an sung by Ella Fitzgerald. The play takes a turn for the worst with an erotic interpretive dance exhibiting the practices of the cheating husband played by Derrick Parks. This body tossing, body rolling, bumping and grinding fellow went from good to bad to despicable all in the course of two minutes. This misogynous display of the black male I found to be offensive. Just because this is what you have encountered don’t discount all black men as such. Gloria said it best: “we don't pay attention to the ones that are good for us” and “that’s the shit she was talking about,” exclaimed Robyn in reference to what character Savannah had mentioned earlier in the play. I was just plane disappointed at the quality of the jokes which were the most obvious “Ya Momma” jokes. This was the reduction of the black woman in an hour or less. She presented stereotype after stereotype after stereotype and just when you thought it was over they did the electric slide to the 1996 Junior M.A.F.I.A hit “Gettin’ Money”. So the audience is left with this final thought: after heartache and struggle, money will help the downtrodden, golddiggin' black woman get hers.
I find her feelings about men so illegitimate the director of this play is 22 years old, what on earth have you possibly experienced in those years that would have provided the fuel for this raging flame of bitterness. After that 45 minute long regurgitation I now know that you have simply not experienced anything and that you simply can relate. You had the perfect venue to do something new. What is your spin? What is your story? What is your experience? Looking at the story you presented it is clear that you can just empathize with those fed up mad black women waiting to exhale who can’t seem to find a do right man. I will say this, if you relate to the views expressed then don’t hold your breath. Waiting for a man who does everything the “right way” that can handle all of your baggage is a pointless effort. After all Savannah said it best, “It does not matter how many new haircuts you get or how many gyms you join…” the search for love starts within.
Posted by najee at 12:23 PM