Before the Play
The Spatial Experience
The Constans Theatre had a proscenium stage and a walkway in the house. I liked the use of the space because the actors only faced in one direction and interacted closer with the audience who were seated farther away from the stage. I sat closer to the stage, approximately row six. Therefore, I felt immersed to the plot of the play because the end of both wings made up my peripheral view.
Surprisingly, sitting in that seat reminded me of my vision in life. Personally, being short-sighted is better than looking in big pictures. In this way, I can concentrate in the current situation instead of thinking about the future and planning ahead. In my experience, when I try to plan out long-term goals my life, I become very worrisome and do not accomplish them. There are several unexpected factors that influences my long-term goals. Hence, I try to set short-term goals and finsih daily tasks. This contradicts with Frankl's way of finding meaning of life which is to find a reason to live. He also states, however, that life is unique for everyone. This is how I seek the Good Life.
The Social Experience
As shown in the picture above, I did not look forward going to this play because it was a requirement. I went to see the play with my friend who helped me to stay and watch the entire performance. Surprisingly, I liked it. Having a company in unpleasant situations does enhance the experience. For example, I do not always enjoy volunteering for Habitats for Humanity because it is very laborious. However, when I volunteer with my friends, I have a better experience because we can share jokes and laughter and build homes for families at the same time. They play a huge role in the Good Life.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt takes place in the 20th century in Quebec City. Sarah Bernhardt is a French actress who traveled to Quebec City to perform on stage. The Archbishop from the Catholic Church sends two seminarians to deliver the news of forbidding her performance in their city. Here lies the paradox. The Catholic Church views Sarah's performance as un-Holy or sinful. However, the Archbishop has his own secrets that he has yet to tell. He committed immoral acts that ruined a boy's life. Despite of his past actions, the Archbishop uses his position in the society to silence and rule over people.
To unwrap this disgusting truth, Michaud writes a play about his victimized friend and Sarah becomes involved in his play. During the process of writing his play, Sarah mentions the importance of expressing social situation in drama. In this way, the real problems within the society can rise to the surface without being silence. It is a drama after all. I, however, thought that it was extremely important to talk about these issues in any shape or form. It is important to talk, discuss, and argue about these matters instead of ignoring the existence of these issues. Talking the issues is the first step that yields to the next step, taking an action.
Sarah Bernhardt reminded me of Ellen Degeneres. Last week, Ellen shared her thought on travel ban through animated movie, Finding Dory. Ellen said that people give help to someone in need regardless of their background. That was what Michaud wanted to achieve by writing a play about his friend. He wanted to uncover the dirty hands of the Archbishop. Similarly, Ellen used her position in society to inform and influence others on the current event.
The Emotional Experience
According to Dr. Pagán, theatre "gives the audience an opportunity to look at itself to examine its less-than-noble qualities and in the process of to 'come clean' about what it means to be human and happy." The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides an opportunity to come clean, or katharsis in Greek, through the following characters: Talbot and Archbishop. The play lays out the process on how Talbot comes clean through friendship and prayer. On the other hand, the Archbishop commits suicide as a result of the guilt of his actions. The play also teaches the audience that an end will come to his or her suffering. Hopefully, he or she does not choose the same path as the Archbishop.
After the Play
"I liked the play but I am tired"