ART FOR PETE'S SAKE
by Linda Campanella

Characters:
Patron 1
Patron 2
Janitor

Costumes:
None

Props:
broom, rag
you'll need 4 works of art arranged on a table or hanging on a wall so the audience can see them.; they can easily be made out of paper: art #1 is a plain white sheet with a black circle stuck on with sticky tack or tape; art #2 is a series of parallel lines running diagonally across the paper; art #3 & #4 can be anything abstract, such as geometric figures, lines, splotches, etc.
2 title cards labelling art #3 & #4

(Patron 1 enters. 4 pictures stand on table with title card affixed. Janitor is sweeping as Patron 1 looks at pictures)

(Patron 2 enters, looks at pictures)

Patron 2: Beautiful! Marvelous! Fabulous!

Patron 1: Excuse me, I don't mean to intrude. But you seem to understand this modern art stuff.

Patron 2: Oh, yes, I've made an extensive study of contemporary artists and their works. Don't you just love these pieces?

Patron 1: I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. I try, but I can't seem to appreciate these things.

Patron 2: Once you understand modern art, it's not hard to appreciate.

Patron 1: Since you understand it so well, would you mind giving me a few pointers? If it's not too much trouble.

Patron 2: No trouble at all. I'd be glad to help you out. Take this painting for example.

(Points to white picture with black spot)

Patron 1: It's a black spot on a white canvas.

Patron 2: Oh, it's much more than that. It's the artist's way of expressing loneliness. The spot is very significant. It's a representation of himself looking out on a vast, empty world. It's really a scathing commentary on our impersonal society.

Patron 1: All that from just a black dot!

Janitor: Excuse me.

(Janitor wipes off spot with a rag)

Patron 1: That spot was significant, all right.

Patron 2: Let's move on to this one. What does it say to you?

Patron 1: Just looks like a few scribbled lines, like a kid would make in kindergarten.

Patron 2: How naive! See how the lines draw your eye upward? The artist has captured a feeling of euphoria. His whole intention is to give the viewer a rise in spirit, to bring him up to the height of the heavens.

Patron 1: Amazing!

Patron 2: It's obvious.

Janitor: Pardon me.

(Janitor turns picture 180 degrees)

Patron 1: Up to the heights, eh?

Patron 2: Never mind that one. These two canvases will show you the difference between good art and great art. Read the descriptions.

Patron 1: The first one says "Toulouse LaDrek," the second says, "Vincent Van Gone, student of Toulouse LaDrek."

Patron 2: Exactly. The first was painted by a master, and it shows. Van Gone tried to emulate his teacher's technique of light and shade, but he never achieved the subtle beauty of LaDrek. Anybody can see that Van Gone's work is only second-rate.

Janitor: Excuse me.

(Janitor switches cards)

Patron 1: Well, that was an education.

Patron 2: I think I've seen everything there is to see in this exhibit. I'm heading over to the Post-Impressionist wing. Would you care to join me?

Patron 1: So you can explain to me all about it?

Patron 2: Of course!

(Patron 1 & 2 exit)

(Janitor looks both ways, then switches the cards, turns picture 180 degrees, replaces black spot)

Janitor (to audience): Gets 'em every time.

(Janitor sweeps his way off-stage)

copyright 2020 by Linda Campanella and Whatsits Galore

Return to Skits & Bits