The Good Life: "The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt" by Aldren Collins

Outside of the Constans Theatre.

The Spatial Experience: Before entering the Constans Theatre to watch the performance, an overwhelming sense of curiosity came over me. Prior to this, I had never stepped foot inside the Constans Theatre and I had no clue what to expect. Once I entered the Theatre, I was quickly seated in quite the immersive location. I was seated in the second row from the front of the stage. The location of my seat definitely had an impact on my experience viewing the performance. When the lights dimmed and the performance began, my heart began to race and I was overcome with excitement. I felt as if I was one of the only people watching and I felt as if I was in the performance myself. I was fully immersed in the story line. The best way to describe the flood of emotions that I felt during the performance is to describe it as experiencing the play in the actor's shoes. I was there and I was a part of the performance itself. I believe that the "place" serves as the area where moments and memories are created or shared. Without a place to experience things the good life can not be reached.

I went to see the performance with my roommate, Auzia.

The Social Experience: The social aspect of the performance was very interesting and unique. I went to see it with my roommate and while we were there we saw two other people that we went to high school with. We all had classes prior to seeing the performance and therefore did not have much time to prepare before seeing it. Enjoying the performance with friends definitely enhanced the experience for me. We were able to converse controversial topics and our views regarding events within the performance. Overall, I think that sharing this experience with my peers allowed me to see the social aspects of the good life. We each share moments that help us to reach the good life.

Interesting art installations in the lobby.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The performance was very interesting both culturally and intellectually. It allowed me to see other people's lives in a different time period from my own. It opened my eyes to issues that I have never personally faced. For example, the themes of religion in the performance. I personally am not very religious and to see the setting be a Catholic Seminary was very different from my everyday perspective. I have never step foot in a Catholic Seminary and to see what life may have been like inside of one is quite interesting to me. Also, the performance displayed a very stark contrast between the pampered life of Sarah Bernhardt and the very labor filled, hard life of Talbot's family. I thought the contrasting ways of life clearly displayed what life was like in that time period. Sweat shops with child labor were still extremely common and this is a topic I was very unfamiliar with. I think that the performance helped me to examine other perspectives and look at my own life with a new outlook.

The playbill.

The Emotional Experience: The performance definitely had an emotional impact on me. The overall themes are very striking and provoke strong emotions within the audience. The idea of a poor, hard working family being torn apart by a wealthy, abusive tycoon really make you examine today's society in news ways. It makes you appreciate everything you have and that you do not have to be in that position. Also, other themes such as the idea of temptation and straying from our moral paths are prominent. Talbot and Michaud both stray from their Seminary schooling and their expected life paths change dramatically from what the audience expects them to turn out to be. Michaud was once the perfect school boy and then suddenly leaves the Seminary to pursue other desires, while Talbot starts out being a rebel and slowly fills the mold of becoming a priest. The idea of a katharsis is shown here. Michaud and Talbot both are presented with the idea of coming clean or continuing to live their lives as lies. In the end, both choose different paths and both live different lives. Michaud sheds his comfort zone and leaves, while Talbot stays behind to finish Seminary school because that is what his family has always wanted him to do. Talbot essentially succumbs to familial and societal pressures and Michaud does not.

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