Good Life Performance: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt ChrysLynn Betts

The Spatial Experience

When I entered the auditorium, my expectation for the quality of the play increased as the set up of the stage was well put together, thus I thought since there was such a good stage, there must be a good play to go with it. Along with the good stage, I felt important in a way that I was attending a famous play that people would pay to watch with such good play set up. I sat in the second row, which enhanced my experience by making me feel really close and connected to the actors and it made feel really engaged as though I was watching a 3-D movie. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, I felt really excited that the play was finally going to begin, because I've heard mixed reviews about it, so I was ready to form my own opinion. The size of the auditorium was relatively big, thus making me feel that this was going to be a grand production and I had the opportunity to witness it. The size also reminded me of my high school's play auditorium, so that brought back some memories. The role of the place in the Good Life is that being surrounded in a stimulating environment allows us to experience new things with grace and enjoyment.

The Social Experience

I attended the performance with my friend Michael Knauff. To prepare for the play I reserved my ticket ahead of time, read the study guide for the Divine and the day of the play I ate and used the restroom before going to the theater, so I wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the play to go to the bathroom, nor be thinking about food. Going with my friend enhanced my experience in a way that I enjoyed the play more with some company and it was nice to be able to talk to someone I knew while waiting for the play to begin. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is that when you have a good time with good friends, it helps build a stronger relationship with that friend as you can reminisce on the good times you had.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The central issue addressed in the play is the personal, tough choices people must make in order to function in an oppressed environment (church, factory). Before attending the play, I knew the matters they discussed in the Study Guide for the Divine, which talked about the setting, time, general synopsis and a few characters. The main issue that struck me most, was when they highlighted the harsh reality of unfair child labor utilization and how consumers chose to not think about the immorality of the horrid facts. Thus, changing my perspective on the products that I purchase and what scandalous economy I am participating in. In my life, I am guilty of burying the idea of foreign child labor that produces the clothes I wear everyday to rid the feeling of corruption.

The Emotional Experience

The play provides us an opportunity for katharsis (“coming clean”) as they discussed the issues of horrible working conditions people endure in factories, including children and that consumers choose to be oblivious to how products are made as long as the price is right and they benefit from the product. Consumers purposely neglect the disheartening facts as to where their products are derived from as means to avoid feelings of guilt as they take pleasure in the product. And this play reflects on this issue, allowing the audience to see a live depiction of what we are guilty of as a society and essentially “com[e] clean” to our moral injustices.
Created By
ChrysLynn Betts

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