The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt John kim

The Spatial Experience - In regard to the physical experience of the theatre, I was amazed. I had just been to the theater last semester for another play and the set was completely different. The location of my seat was perfect because I was seated to the far right in the front, so no one was in front of me. I had no distractions or visual impairment and I felt like I was actually in the play. When the lights dimmed and the audience silenced, I was so consumed in the play that I almost forgot that I was in an audience with other people. The size of the auditorium did not affect my experience, considering I was in the front and had a clear view of the stage. Although, if I would have been seated in the back, surely I would have had a difficult time clearly seeing the actors and actresses. The role of place in the Good Life is to have comfort and safety and for it to feel like home. For example, the role of the Grand Seminary, Dormitory was a role of place in the Good Life by allowing people in poverty (like Talbot becoming a priest) to rise out of poverty by making twice the salary as an average worker and by gaining a place in the spiritual, political, and intellectual hierarchy. Furthermore, the shoe factory was a role of place in the Good Life for Mrs. Talbot by allowing her to provide for her six children, even though the conditions were terrible.

The Constans Theatre

The Social Experience - I attended the performance with a friend of mine, Diego. Considering Diego sat to my left and no one sat to my right, I was able to watch the performance much more comfortably. When I got ready for the performance, I made sure I dressed appropriately. For example, I wore a pair of khaki pants with a white collared shirt with a hoodie over it. I also made sure I turned my phone off before the performance. Attending the performance with my friend helped enhance my theater experience by making me feel more comfortable, which helped me focus on the performance. Whereas, last semester I was squeezed between two people I did not know and had difficulty sitting comfortably. The majority of my time was spent trying to sit comfortably without bumping into the people next to me, rather than watching the performance. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is to see perspectives in someone else's shoes. For instance, when Michaud visits the shoe factory for the first time and gets to see what the lower class experiences. He realizes that it is not that the lower class is lazy or ignorant, but it is because they are oppressed. Therefore, this leads Michaud to strive for justice for these lower class workers and their horrible working conditions. Sarah Bernhardt's eyes were also opened by the shoe factory on her first visit because she realized the truth that is behind making the shoes. Therefore, she also strives for justice by trying introduce the "bourgeois audience to the reality of the lower classes".

The "Talk Back"

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience - This performance helped me understand my own culture better after seeing how things used to be and far we have come. For example, now we have child labor laws and health and hazard inspections for all jobs. Moreover, theatre has come a long way as well by being more accepted and performers are allowed to perform almost any subject matter as they pleased. The central issue addressed in the play was religion vs theatre. The church demands that she must not perform a play that permits premarital sex and makes a fool of priests. I did not know much of the subject matter before attending the performance, but I did know that theatre back then was much more censored. The performance changed my views about the issues described in the performance by now understanding what theatre can provide. Theatre is powerful, in that it can educate, open minds, and reveal the truth. Therefore, theatre should not be censored because it only seeks the truth. Another issue that changed my ideas was child labor workers. For example, I realized children were not physically forced to work, but they felt obligated to work in order to help provide for the family. The subject matter does not have a relationship to something happening in my own life, but I see others struggling like the lower class families were struggling. For example, it is hard for many people to provide for their family and live off of minimum wage.

After the "Talk Back"

The Emotional Experience - The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us with an opportunity for katharsis by reminding us of moral neglect on the consumer's interest. This makes the audience realize an ugly truth. For example, the Boss and factory owner quotes, "When a pretty woman wants a pair of pretty boots, she doesn't think about who made them. She doesn't care if the worker had enough to eat, she doesn't care if he went to mass, and she cares even less bout how old he is. No. She just wants to get her pretty boots at the lowest possible price." Even when I go to buy something, I never think about who made them and their well being. For all I know, it could be a little boy in a factory in China that makes the items I buy.

Outside the Theatre

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.