Context & Analysis
The subject is a BFA in USC’s School of Dramatic Arts Acting program, which is extremely competitive. I asked him if he knew of any theater traditions or sayings specific to USC’s theater program. I included the full dialogue of our conversation below for clarity.
Subject: ‘Dark in here’ is a big one for the BFA’s. Any time the lights turn off someone just has to go ‘Dark in here!”
Me: What’s the context of that?
Subject: It was a line in a scene and we—Mary Jo probably made them do that line for an hour straight.
Me: Who’s Mary Jo?
Subject: Mary Jo Negro is the head of undergraduate acting at USC, she’s our acting professor, she’s the one that cuts us [laughs]
Me: So what play was it taken from?
Subject: It’s a 10-minute play called ‘Tape’. It’s very bad. [laughs]
Me: So why did it become a saying within the BFA’s?
Subject: Uh, because we’re the ones that had to run through it for an hour—it was just that line. And so then every time the lights turn off we’d have to go ‘Dark in here!’—so the lights turn off and he [the main character] goes ‘Dark in here” and so now any time any professor ever turns the lights off somebody goes “Dark in here” and I hate it [laughs].