The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt My Experience: by Emily Smith

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: One of the central issues addressed in this performance was the importance (or lack thereof) of theatre and arts in society. The church argued that it was toxic to the community, while actors like Sarah Bernhardt disagreed profusely. In my opinion, the arts are incredibly important in our society, as they serve as a channel of expression for many people. This play also addressed the issue of unsafe technology in the era that the play took place. Ultimately, this technology and unsafe working conditions led to the death of Talbot's younger brother. This allowed the audience to emotionally feel what pain and suffering families endured during a time period different from our own. Overall, the intellectual value of this play lies within the experience that it gives the audience, which allows them to understand the culture and lifestyle of multiple characters from the past.
The Social Experience: I attended the play with a friend of mine, Brittany, pictured above. I believe that viewing the play with a friend enhanced the overall experience because it allowed for discussion of our thoughts on the play. It is always good to compare thoughts on events such as plays because individuals have different ideas, beliefs, and experiences, and thus may interpret and view the play differently. In the "Good Life," shared experiences help bring people together, just as strangers in the audience of this play were brought together by their common experience of viewing it.
The Spatial Experience: This is a photo of two pieces of art in the lobby of the Constans Theatre. When I walked in to the lobby and saw this artwork, it made me excited for the performance, as this theatre is obviously a place that respects art. Furthermore, throughout the play the actors moved about the stage quite frequently, so despite the fact that I was on the far left side, I feel like I still experienced the play fully. When the lights dimmed in the theatre I was filled with excitement to see what the actors would look like, how they would speak, and overall how they would portray the story being told in this play. I was very impressed by their spatial awareness throughout the performance, as their movement created an equal experience for all members of the audience. The role of place in the "Good Life" is ultimately up to what you define the good life as. If one of your major values is location, then you would place a lot of emphasis on the place that you live and work. Contrastingly, if you value other things such as family, teamwork, or achievement, then the place that you reside or work will not be as important.
The Emotional Experience: This is a photo of me after the performance with the playbill. When the play was over I had a chance to truly evaluate the emotional experience that it put the audience through. This play provides the audience with the opportunity for "katharsis" by allowing us to view the emotional experiences of the actors without having to be put in their particular situation. We can compare our own emotional experiences to those of Sarah Bernhardt, Michaud, and Talbot, and thus "cleanse ourselves" of what we have been through.

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