Exposing the gaps in Black Male-Female Relationships
Eugene Dillanado’s “Save the Last Dance For Me,” ignited the stage as the one-day performance explored the many problems that often plague Black male-female relationships. The play debuted February 4th at the Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory School, 250 E. 111th Street, with two shows at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The play highlighted a sizzling extramarital affair between Dina Speight (LaSheda Wallace) and Perry Dupree (Eric Epps). The highly charged affair thrives on shouting matches which often leaves Dina and Perry unhappy and bitter. The play also brought the issue of interracial relationships to the forefront. Perry’s opinions about Dina’s multi-ethnic marriage leaves her torn and on the defense about why she married outside of her race.
Throughout the play, Perry pressures Dina to leave her white husband, hoping that the murders of Trayvon Martin and Laquan McDonald would hit home. The salty, gritty, discourse carried on between Dina and Perry, reveals Dina’s mistrust and fear, which are all linked to an abandoned childhood. Read More
“The motivation behind the play is to bring men and women together,” said Eugene Dillanado, executive producer of “Save the Last Dance for Me.” “In relationships, we have to do things in teams. There are a lot of things that prevent us from doing that, but “Save the Last Dance for Me” explores a lot of gaps that keeps Black men and women from working as a team.”
Dillanado pointed out that Black male-female relationships are challenging and many of the issues are linked to childhood issues. Dillanado said, “Perry discovered that Dina’s father wasn’t there for her which speaks to the issue of abandonment. Many women in our view carries this baggage and it impacts their relationships with other men.”
Angelina Beck of Dolton stated that the play was centered on social issues and oppression which have a direct affect on Black male-female relationships. She said, “The play tapped on a lot of social issues that Black women and men often struggle with in relationships. It showed how women sometime take on negative views of their partner based on the relationship they had with their father. The father might not have been there for them as young girls, and in real life, this causes mistrust in their relationships.”
Beck also added that the play shows how the black man is outspoken about racial oppression, yet he is powerless when it comes to taking a stand to change those circumstances that oppresses him.
Playwright and Publisher of the Black Pages, Eugene Dillanado chose an excellent topic to bring to his theater audience. The play comes with lots of drama, sizzle, and passion. The performance is filled with good acting, which large audiences across the country will appreciate.
The love story ends in a cliff hanger, Eric Epps and Le Sheda Wallace offers a stellar performance in this dramatic play, “Save The Last Dance for Me.”
(Safiyyah P. Muhammad is a reporter and creative writer. She is the author of three children’s books).