The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt IUF1000: The Good Life By: Julia Passarelli

The Spatial Experience:

Kevin and I before we had entered the theatre to watch the play at the Constans Theatre

When first entering the and waiting to go into the theatre, I was excited to see what I had in store. I have not been to a play since I was a very young girl and I had gone to see The Nutcracker, so being in a theatre had made me feel like a little girl all over again, ready to see The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt.

After getting my Gator One card scanned, and taking pictures with friends, we had been seated near the front of the stage all the way on the right side of the stage. I had thought that I would have a hard time seeing things going on in certain areas of the stage because of my seat, but that seat had turned out to be an interesting one as I was able to see actors come and go through the door next to me, which had added to my experience in the audience tremendously because I felt like I could touch them if I were to stick my arm out.

Once the lights had dimmed and everyone begun to quiet down I had gotten that butterfly feeling in my stomach because I knew I was going to really enjoy the play. This feeling was because I had not seen a play since I was little and after reading into the play before hand allowed for me to know that The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt was not going to disappoint me.

Due to the fact that I was in the front of the auditorium/theatre, the actual size of the place did not have a grave affect on my experience. I had felt as though I was in a small movie theatre watching the big screen. If I were in the back of the theatre, I feel as though my experience would have been hindered because I would not have been able to see the details of the play as well as I could from where I had sat during the play.

The role of place in the good life is very important. When you are in a certain place, you hope to get a good vibe from it that enhances your life. Usually, you feel better when you are in a place that is comforting and does not make you want to leave. When I was in the Constans Theatre, for example, I had gotten a lovely feeling that had made me want to stay there and continue to experience its atmosphere. Just like having your special place, the idea of place allows for us to continue to work upon ourselves and work towards the good life. Places that are important to us fuel our desire to continue to do whatever we are doing. If we were in a work place that we did not enjoy, like mine would be in a cubical office, I would have no desire to seek anything more because I would be miserable. On the flip side, if I were working with children in a hospital, I would want to continue to work hard in my field because I have a passion for being in that particular work place and that place makes me know I want to be there.

The Social Experience:

Cooper, David. La Divine Illusion-The Divine. 2015. The Official Cite of Michel Marc Bouchard. Shaw Festival, Accessed 5 February, 2017

Getting ready for the performance was very short and simple. I had gone to my room to change into some jeans and a nice button down, and then I had gone to meet with Kevin and Kunal near the entrance of the theatre. We gotten there 20 minutes early because we wanted to get good seats for the performance.

When we had taken photos together and had been seated, it was exciting to be able to discuss certain parts of the play together when I had a question about something or be able to turn and share a laugh with my friends when something funny had occurred. We had even shared moments with another student next to us that we hadn't known which had been nice because we had talked for a little after the play had ended.

The role of shared experiences in the good life can have a great impact. Having friends, family, or even strangers to share an event with allows us to know that we have someone to turn to when we need someone to be there. For example, during childbirth, you hope to have someone you know there with you to experience this large stepping stone in life and to be able to share looks and emotions with. It can even go as little as sharing an experience of going to get ice cream. Just having someone to talk to or to simply just have a presence of someone can make you feel secure and support because you are not alone and it is much more pleasurable to be able to look back at an experience and have a good laugh or talk when the occasion arises.

Mr. Goodlife. Pinterest, Accessed 5 February, 2017

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience:

Strecker, James. The Divine: A pLay for Sarah Bernhardt. Quebec City. Accessed 5 February, 2017

This performance allowed me to see a new light into my own culture after watching it. The story of the play was during 1905 and had been located in Quebec City. The central issue of which the play had addressed was the problems between religion and society. It wasn't the entire society that was struggling against religion, but those of which indulged in money, pleasure, and appearance.

Before I had attended this play, I had not known that religion vs. society was still a problem during this time. I am not a huge history fanatic, but I did believe that this was not still an issue in the early 1900s. With further research I had found that Roman Catholicism was widely practiced and had played a major role in this play. The problem is, that there used to be comments about sexual abuse among this religion and it becomes real with The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. Both Brother Casgrain and Talbot had been abused in the play which supports these comments/rumors that went around this religion.

The subject matter of this play does not reside with me personally, but I do feel sorry for those who still face this issue because it still goes on today in our generation, which is quite scary to think about. During the play, I had even felt bad for the actors although they personally did not go through what they were acting. The way they had acted the parts of the characters almost made the situations seem so real and had stirred my emotions.

The Emotional Experience:

Cooper, David. La Divine Illusion-The Divine. 2015. The Official Cite of Michel Marc Bouchard. Shaw Festival, Accessed 5 February, 2017

The play The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt allows for us to experience Katharsis, or to come clean in many ways. During the actual play, Talbot tries to hide what has happened to him and does not try to speak out about the matter. Michaud tries to convince him to tell everyone the truth and to not hold in the sexual assault because it is something that needs to be known.

Michaud displays Katharsis in play for us by actually going to the police and telling them what has happened to Talbot and how the priest had done it to him. In the beginning of the play, Michaud is told to not become close with Talbot, but ends up becoming very close with Talbot and very obsessed over his life events that it eventually leads to him to telling the police what has happened.

Although Talbot never provided us with a moment of Katharsis, Michaud had done so as his friend. Sometimes moments of "coming clean" do not come from the victim themselves but from someone that is surrounding you and knows that the best thing to do is to tell everyone the truth about what happened because it was for the best in Talbot's case.

How Kevin and I had reacted after seeing the play. (My reaction being that I enjoyed watching the play and Kevin expressing the the emotions of what had occurred during it.) Constant Theatre


I received written/verbal approval from my peer, Kevin Cheng to use his photo in my Spark Story

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