Sarah Bernhardt Open Coffin. Digital image. University of Huston. Engines of Our Ingenuity, 2011. Web. 4 Feb. 2017.
The Spatial Experience
This was the first time I ever set foot in the Constans Theater. My first impression was of the lobby of the theater. The lobby was clean and well kept, which spoke to the legitimacy of this performance. To an extent, I enjoy plays only when they are performed by capable actors and put together with care by an able minded directer. It may seem petty, but the initial moment of me entering the lobby and being greeted with a clean and orderly room built up my confidence in the play. When I entered the theater theater proper, I noticed its moderately small size. The Constans Theater appeared to be a black box theater, common in many universities. This reminded me that the play was being done by students like me, not a group of professionals. It was a reminder that the actors are not different from me or the individuals who flanked me in the audience. I sat in the back of the Theater, which did not effect my experience at all. I still fully enjoyed the play in spite of my location. When the lights dimmed I was excited for the play to begin, because up to this point I was genuinely looking forward to this play. Space place a very important role in the good life. It tells us so much about the world around us and about the people involved in that particular location.
Malkin, Rick. The Black Box. Digital image. Belmont University. Belmont University, n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2017. <http://www.belmont.edu/theatre/images/blackbox.jpg>
The Social Experience
I went to this event with my friend Jack Rasmussen. We met up outside the theater and entered the auditorium together. Prior to the play we discussed unrelated topics with each other for a few minutes. I somewhat jokingly commented on the topic of the play. Having the protagonist be a feminist icon targeted by the Catholic Church demonstrated the predictably liberal bent of the play. I found watching the play more enjoyable with a friend to watch it with and comment on it afterwards. Shared experiences like this are essential to the good life. They allow us to communicate our feelings to others and better understand the feelings of others. This newly gained perspective is essential to achieving the Good Life. No one person ever has all the answers, so shared experiences and shared information is a necessary part of the human experience.
Myself at the Constans lobby
Jack Rasmussen in front of the Constans Theater
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
I noticed that the story had quite a liberal bent to it. The play was set in the late 19th century in Canada. It dealt with common issues favored by leftist writers, such as the plight of the humble worker, the evil authoritarianism of the Catholic Church, and brash feminism. The protagonist, Sarah Bernhardt, was depicted as a sexually promiscuous actress with nothing but disdain for men of cloth. The central antagonist of the play appears to be the Catholic Church, being in a constant struggle to shut down her play. Prior, to watching the play, I happen to have known a great deal about the history of the 19th century, especially that of the Catholic Church. I also happen to completely agree with the Church's objections to not only Bernhardt's play, but also her as a person. The Church has always been in the business of pointing out sinful behavior, as is their divinely mandated duty. Bernhardt was clearly living a life of meaningless sex and a lack of morals. The Church was acting the public good by encouraging citizens to to attend the play. This demonetization of men and women is very common on Universities, and I have learned to stay strong on my beliefs despite the masses of feminists and leftists who, to me, resemble the character of Bernhardt in the play. The play did not at all change my opinion in any issue it dealt with. I did however, feel that I related a lot to the efforts of the Church in that play. I also feel that I am surrounded by degenerates who are hostile to my traditionalist world view.
Specht, Joachim. Papst Pius XII., Krönung. 2009. Oil on Canvas. N.p.
Despite the liberal bent of the play, it does go over a very grim facet of the human experience: child molestation. One of the characters went through an unfathomable experience when a Priest molested him as a young boy. The audience is shown this horrid side of humanity. They are shown a a victim of sexual violence. The character who was sexually violated was pressured in remaining silent, eventually agreeing not to tell the police about the encounter. However, the rapist signed a written confession which was delivered to the police, giving the victim and audience a sense of justice. The audience is given an opportunity for Catharsis in this event. Justice has been served, and the audience shares in the protagonist's relief from his repressed emotions. The audience also has the opportunity to look inside themselves and examine how they have been living their lives. This part of the play enables the audience to place a greater value on justice, and perhaps even be more active in the fight against injustices.
Lonley, Erik. KXLY News at 6:30. KXLY. Spokane, Mashington, 5 Feb. 2008. Television.