A security guard stands in a room of an art museum looking bored. A man walks on stage holding a tool box. Scattered about the stage are paintings and sculptures. He looks forlorn, forced to be here, upset. He looks around, and chooses a painting - “The Ballet Rehearsal” by Degas. He goes up to it and looks at it deeply for a beat.
MAN: You know what’s funny?
Security guard does not answer, assuming the Man is just talking to himself.
MAN: These girls are dressed in their performance tutus. Maybe that was a thing back then, huh? You don’t really do that anymore. Girls these days, I mean. They wear rehearsal tutus. Did you know there’s a difference between performance and rehearsal tutus? Until a little while ago I had no idea. Boy, was I wrong. It’s something having to do with respecting the costume. Which I guess makes sense. Though it makes more sense to me to wear the performance one in rehearsal. Or at least a simple version of it. Then you know exactly how to move with it. Your dance is integrated with the skirt - the skirt is really an extension of you - of the dancer. Well, the tutu. The tutu is part of the dancer.
It’s also funny how much light is in this painting. It’s like the sun is spilling right out from the canvas. (looks at the floor) See? It even looks brighter right here. It’s beautiful.
GUARD: It’s great.
MAN: It is. It really is. (He becomes overcome with grief) I can’t have it happening. Without her. This was her favorite.
(He puts down the toolbox, opens it up and pulls out a hammer. He proceeds to destroy the painting with the hammer. The guard rushes over and stops him, much to his dismay and protests)
MAN: This is her painting! It cannot be here without her here, too! IT CAN’T BE HERE!
©2017 Emily Dalton