The Divine A Play for Sarah Bernhardt

Picture above was taken from https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2015/07/25/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-holds-harrowing-moments-but-doesnt-quite-jell-review.html

My sister Maina Aoita and I, standing at the entrance of the Constants theatre. This was going to be our first live play at University of Florida.

Before taking the picture, we made friends with another student while we were waiting for another friend. This was around 20 minutes before the play was going to start. We chatted for a while, not really knowing what to expect from the play.

I texted my friend asking where he was, only to find out that he thought he was supposed to be there AT 7:15 not 15 minutes before! Since the play was starting soon and we didn't want to keep our new friend waiting, we went ahead on our adventure.

After wondering around inside, we were lost for quite some time. Vibrant oval-shaped art decorated the window inside the building as we were following the source of light chatter.

At the source were other students chatting right outside the entrance of the seats. Near the entrance was a girl behind a desk and a laptop. She took my ID and swiped it on her device while telling me to not take any pictures during the play.

Taking my ID back, I walked into the dimly lit room where another girl was standing on the side with brochures in hand. She gave me one as I made my way down to the seats. (I would have taken pictures of the seats but more people were walking in behind me and I didn't want to cause traffic...)

A guy was standing at the edges of the seat leading students to the next row to fill up. I realized too late as I was sitting down that we won't be able to save a seat for Pierre. (I didn't want to keep waiting either so...)

The stage was beautiful. There were two tall wooden arches; four makeshift beds complete with pillows and blankets propped against the arches. The back of the stage had a copy of stained glass windows that you would see in churches. The stage was set to present the inside of a church.

The play didn't start until 7:30 but when it did start, the lights were quickly dimmed until we were hidden in the pitch black darkness, hushing us to silence. The play was about to begin! I felt excitement and curiosity since I haven't been to a play for almost 10 years.

After the play, we took a picture in front of this black and white art. Everyone was buzzing with chatter about the play. I was impressed with how well the actors performed and how they quickly set up the stage between sets.

One thing I did not like however, was the danger of sitting up close to the stage. We were seated on the second row closest to the stage and if the actors stand at the edge of the stage, students at front row and second row were under constant threat of saliva projecting out of the performers.

Nonetheless, the performance overall made up for all the spit shower that took place! At the beginning of the play, it felt awkward to get used to since they were live performers after all. Eventually I was immersed into their world and I began to feel attached to every character. I even almost cried when Leo died. They performed very well indeed. My favorite part was when Michaud was hiding behind the dresser when the press stormed into the room and asked questions towards Bernhardt.

If I was to have another opportunity to attend a play again, I would definitely go! I hope to try this again soon.

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