The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt Zachary Krueger

Me holding the playbill that was given out prior to the show

Spatial Experience

I have been in the Reitz Union countless times and this was the first time I noticed Constans Theatre . As my friend Emilee and I entered the auditorium we were greeted by the staff of the show and handed the playbill pictured above. My eyes were immediately drawn to the large A-frame structure that was the Cathedral ceiling. I analyzed the set as I sat in the third row of the theatre almost touching the stage and thumbed through the playbill. The stage props and set were so perfectly set up symmetrically to center stage and this made me realize how much effort goes into creating customs props and backdrops for every show. Soon the lights dimmed and I was eager for the show to start.


Social Experience

Prior to attending the show with my friend Emilee, we read through the instructions for the assignment so we would be sure we would not miss any components. The atmosphere was very relaxed and quiet as we waited to scan our gator one cards. While waiting we were greeted by a member of the cast and offered him the appropriate "break a leg." I think attending the show with a friend was a great idea as we were able to discuss what we thought of the show and its plot afterwards. The audience was so respectful as there were no conversations or bright phone screens disrupting the performance. Sharing this experience with my friend was a memory I will treasure because it bought me out of my comfort zone and helped me do something I would not feel that comfortable doing on my own.

Photo taken from the show's playbill of the dorm setting

Cultural and Intellectual Experience

This play helped me reflect internally about the bubble that my life has been surrounded by. It allowed me to think about my privilege and acknowledge all of the struggles that others have to face and overcome. The show reminded me of how much society has improved since 1905 such as working conditions, minimum wage and child labor laws. I was able to connect with the story line as I was brought up Catholic and am aware of the stigmas that may come along with the history of sexual abuse within the church. The scenes in the factory allowed me to step back and take value in the advancements that society has created to make jobs safe and secure. As for the cultural aspect I believe early 1900s America was way more religious than it is today. I feel that if the Arch Bishop of today were to send a letter to a famous actress prior to a show that it would not elicit a response from the public and the show would still be full.

My friend Emilee and I leaving the show

Emotional Experience

Many aspects of the show touched on topics that are controversial. I have never experienced sexual assault, but I know a couple of people that have. I think it is good to talk about uncomfortable things to get the word out and bring attention to the matter. Sarah Bernhardt's arrival to Quebec was a huge deal to some of the Canadians. With social media today I have a hard time believing that people would be as excited to see a celebrity in public. You are able to follow what that person is thinking, doing and wearing almost everyday whereas back then you either had to see celebrities in person or in the newspaper. This made me feel reminiscent to the short time in my life I can remember when everyone was not glued to their iPhone.

*My friend Emilee Swanson gave me permission to use the photographs we took together at the show in my Spark Page.*

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