Rice writes stage play, Real Love Shouldn't Hurt

Staff Writer

West Point native Belinda Rice has loved writing for as long as she can remember. She used that talent to create her first play, "When All Hell Breaks Loose," that she directed and produced in 2011 and 2012. She has written a follow up to that play, called "Real Love Shouldn't Hurt." The curtain will rise on the new play at 7 p.m.Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. All proceeds go toward the cost of the venue and creating the production.

"I'm not doing these plays to make money," Rice said. "I feel in my heart that this is the way I need to go in order to reach people. 'When All Hell Breaks Loose' had a scene of domestic violence in it. That is the scene I took to create ' Real Love Shouldn't Hurt."

Rice said she grew up with domestic abuse in her home by her step-father. That was the basis for her marrying young. That marriage failed and her second husband was abusive.
"I was so ashamed of what was happening," Rice said. "I didn't want anyone to know and I thought I was the only one this was happening to. I received information of places I could go and be safe until I was free of him. I want to share that with other women and men who might be caught up in domestic violence."

Rice said her heart aches for young women today who think this way of life is normal. They see their mother being abused and when their boyfriends hit them, or call them names, that's just how life is.
"I want them to know there is another way," Rice said. "People who hit you, call you names, tell you that you are worthless and stupid, don't love you. Real love builds you up. It doesn't hurt. The person who mistreats you is just wanting control, not love."

Rice wants her message to resonate in the black and white communities. She said abuse doesn't know color, financial situation, or where a person lives.
"Safe Haven will have a table at the Trotter Convention Center to give out information," Rice said. "I want to raise awareness and let women and men who are suffering from domestic violence, know that they aren't alone and there is help available."

She said domestic violence is not only physical, but mental and emotional abuse, as well. Anything that harms the person's self esteem and makes them feel worthless is abuse.
"I think the mental abuse is worse than physical," Rice said. "The bruises heal. But words cut deep into your soul and keep coming back to hurt you over and over again. That voice in your head that keeps saying those things."

Rice said so many women fall in love with who they think is the man of their dreams and they wind up with Freddy Krueger.
"The play has places where the audience will laugh, they may cry, but mostly I want them to think," Rice said.
Rice said that through this play she wants people to understand real love doesn't hurt. People who truly love aren't abusive. She wants people in abusive relationships to know they aren't alone and there is help available.

"I've been writing for 30 years," Rice said. "God gave me a gift and expects me to use it."
Rice said she is from West Point, as are several other cast members, but the entire cast is from the Golden Triangle area.

Advance tickets are available at the Sa Walk Barbershop on Main Street and Golden Shears Barbershop on Washington Street in West Point.
For more information email Rice at earthangelproductions@gmail.com.