The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Tyler Dean

Entering the Theatre

When I first entered the theatre to see The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, I was very excited when I first saw the set and the bunk beds lined up. The crowd was filled up entirely, and I could feel the nervous tension in the air. I arrived about 15 minutes early and thought I'd get a good seat, but I was actually put pretty far back in the audience. I didn't mind, however, because right in the opening scene a cast member walked right past me in the aisle towards the stage, and I was instantly into the play. When the lights dimmed, everyone hushed and it was go time. The play had started.

Lobby of the Constans Theatre

When I had attended the play, I did not know anyone that was going. The kid I had sat next to was really nice, however, and we struck up a good conversation before the play. I found it very cool that I could make a friend with someone using a common experience such as seeing a play. Shared experiences play a key role in a good life, because they allow us to connect with other people. I knew nothing about the kid I met other than that we were both seeing a play, but this shared experience was all it took to find a new friend.

Seeing a play was really neat in the sense that I tend to be a movie type of person. I feel like movies tend to try to entertain more than a play. I really enjoyed how The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt had a distinct message. It really highlights the clash between religion and theatre that may have taken place in the 1900s. Since I never lived back then, it could be hard for me to empathize with anyone caught up in this scuffle, however through theatre I could broaden my social perspective. I really empathized with Michaud, who was a huge fan of Sarah Bernhardt, but had to deliver bad news to her due to his position in the church. I felt for someone who had to do something he didn't want to do due to his job. The theatre no doubt broadened my horizons, and I now understand a little the complaints of the theatre against the church.

Theatre allows us to "come clean" with ourselves, because a play takes up a social debate and portrays both sides. It is then for us to decide which side we should take, and come clean with how we really feel. We may not say that we care about an issue, but then when it's right there on the stage before us, we must take a stance of some sort. We must be honest with ourselves emotionally, and be honest as to how we really feel. For example in The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, I totally started to empathize with the theatre community even though they were pitted against the church. I'm a Christian, and I had to come clean with myself that the theatre community had a very valid point.

Leaving the theatre with the playbill

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