Play #63: Dancing in the Darkroom

The play is set in a small, cramped darkroom in the basement of the suburban home of high-school teacher and hobbyist photographer, John Squint.  It is the summer of 1947.  When the play opens, John is developing some pictures, attentively—if not adoringly—watched by and his longtime girlfriend, Anita Pinch.

John (fishing a print out of the rinse-bath):  There!  It’s you, all head-and-shoulders of you.

Anita (gazing at her dripping image): Look at me—I’m dull!

John (consoling her): No you’re not.

Anita: I am too. [she points at herself] Look at this stupid flowered blouse!

John: You don’t like your blouse?

Anita: I thought it was okay until I saw it in the photograph.

John: Blouse and photograph, they both look the same to me.

Anita: They are the same. They’re both incredibly dull.

John:  Well, why don’t you take it off then?

Anita (horror-stricken):  John!!

John (quickly): I meant change into another blouse.

Anita: Why bother? [she points at the photograph]  The damage is done now.  You’ve taken the photograph and now I’m dull for all time.

John:  Poor Anita.

Anita (shyly): If I do take my blouse off, will you take a more exciting photograph of me?

John (Encouragingly): I don’t see how I could fail to.

Anita (suddenly dispirited again): No, it’ll still be dull.

John:  How could it be?

Anita: Because I just remembered that my bra is even duller than my blouse.

John (smiling warmly at her):  We’ll think of something.