The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt A glimpse into the good life

The Spatial Experience

I have never been to the Constans Theatre before during my time at UF. I go to the Reitz Union often, but I did not know that the Constans Theatre was inside and coming here opened up my eyes to how many places and opportunities are at the University that I don't know about yet.

I arrived to the theatre about 25 minutes before arrival time of 7:15 P.M, and there was already a good amount of Good Life students there waiting for friends to arrive and in line to get into the Theatre. Luckily, my friend who I was meeting and got there even earlier than I did, was at the very front of the line, so I got a little fast pass to the action. I was a little nervous to hear that the performance was about two and a half hours long because I have never seen a play before and that seemed long, but once I got in and was sat in the front, I was excited for the show to start.

The screen had the visual of snow falling which was truly beautiful to see. Since we had gotten there early, we waited a long time for the show to begin, but before we knew it, the entire theatre behind us was full. It was pretty amazing to see all those people here for the same show because the auditorium seemed way bigger now. As soon as the lights dimmed and the spotlights turned on, everyone hushed and we were all excited to see the show begin.

Place is a very important role in the Good Life. Before interacting with people, when one enters a new place, they observe everything around them. Every single place we move to, we experience a new environment with new people, feelings and a new atomsphere. The cool thing is in life you can choose what place you want to be in and how you feel about it.

The Social Experience

I met my friend who I met last semester in a class we had together called Warrington Welcome. I'm glad I got to experience the play with her because I got to talk about how I felt before, during and after the performance we her. Also, I have never been to a play before, and she told me she has been to several, so she knew a little more about the environment than I did and was faster to predict what was going to happen in the play.

To get ready for the performance, first I read online a little bit of background about the play. I understood a big factor in the performance was poverty and God, but that's pretty much all I got other than the character's names before. I was going to wear workout clothes to the play because that's what I wear everyday, but it said on Canvas to dress formal, and I'm glad I did, because I realized that was definitely the theatre etiquette to uphold.

For me, shared experiences is one of the most important roles in the Good Life. One of my top values is my family and friends. Not only is sharing experiences with other people fun and strengthens relationships, but they can share different perspectives that you may have not seen before. To live the Good Life, it is necessary to see all cultures and ideas along with your own.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Although the time the play took place in was the early 1900's, the main issue of the performance, inequality, is still very prevalent today. In the performance, inequality was portrayed through child labor and poverty. Before the performance, I knew child labor happened in the past, but it never connected with me on a deeper emotional level until I saw the performance where several children died in, including one of the main characters, Leo Talbot. It was very sad to see that children had to work in order for a family to survive financially, and even though it was what needed to be done for some families, everyone knew it was wrong.

Something that also struck me during the performance was when they were discussing poverty towards the beginning and Mrs. Talbot said something along the lines of, "They think we choose poverty and to live this way!" This was very sad to me. I have grown up blessed to live a fortunate and financially comfortable life thanks to my parents who worked hard, but this made me realize that even though some people out there don't make money, doesn't mean they don't work hard. I learned in Microeconomics last semester that the divide betweeen the rich and poor has grown bigger over the past few decades and this is a problem that needs to be solved. Although the subject matter does not necessarily relate to me personally, it definitely still relates to this world we live in. The performance didn't change the way I view poverty and inequality negatively, but it heightened it and made it more real for me.

Emotional Experience

During the "talk back" with the actors, I truly got to understand how much emotions and work they put into the play. The woman who played Sarah Bernhardt said she had been researching her character since mid-last year for her thesis project, and since then has learned so much about her and this time period. She related standing up for your beliefs in Theatre to the women's rights marches happening in the world today.

I have never known much about Theatre, but they were so passionate about how in Theatre you get to speak about topics that are real word issues that need to be addressed. The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us with katharsis or the process to "come clean" because it ignites the fire within us that makes us want to stand up for what we believe in. Whether that is the ideas of poverty, mistreatement and inequality, those who watch the play get motivation to stand up for what they believe in, let their emotions out and learn new ways to express their beliefs.

All smiles after the performance!

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