Although there was a group of us, I sat only with one of my friends during the performance. The others had to use the restroom before the curtain call, meaning they entered the house later, being pushed towards the back. It was not the end of the world. I would not get as distracted during the performance and I would be able to form my own opinions regarding the context, plot, setting, etc. Therefore, I would appreciate the performance more.
After the performance I reconnected with my peers. Being able to reconnect and walk out together allowed me to see the multiple perspectives on the same single activity. This role of sharing an experience in the context of the good life is essential because you can get a lot out of others. Other people can allow you too see and think way differently rather than sticking to your initial opinions. Their enthusiasm about a subject can shed some light and positivity onto your very own opinions. Seeing how others think and process all the stimuli that they take in fits their good life, but putting the pieces together has allowed me to discover and refine my good life.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The central issue addressed in the production is the clash between religion and theatre. In this play, the personal morals and ethics of the characters are tested as they are forced to making choices that sacrifice their own wants and needs pertaining tot their ideal good life. Before the performance I was aware of some of the backgrounds of the characters thought my time spent reading history textbooks and discussions held in English courses. I was aware that harsh living conditions existed, that there were vast gaps in between the low and upper class, etc. However, my eyes were open on the topics of child labor, media and journalism, and the severity of the work and living conditions the characters in The Divine were experiencing. The thing I appreciated about The Divine and something that they playwright portrayed well across his dialoged was that you as an audience member knew the character’s background based off of their character development. This also credits the actors’ work- they did an unbelievable job making a very real situation while still expressing this necessary information about the characters that the audience needed to hear in order to make an overall judgment on the piece. Seeing the different lifestyles of the characters and seeing the clash of religion with Sarah Bernhardt’s scheduled performance tests Michaud ’s devotion to the church, which was really something to watch during his journey and the choices he made in order to fulfill his good life. For me personally, the clash between religion and theatre expressed in the performance does not affect me directly, but the clash between athletics and education does. I realize there is not enough time in the day for me to excel at both, however I do not wish to choose one over the other. I have satisfied myself with the fact that I can be average or mediocre at both, yet still trying to be superior without fallout on the other side of this metaphorical sea-saw. I realize that there is a balance. I think Michaud realizes there is a balance as well between satisfying his desire to be apart of the theatre and his desire to be within the church.
The Emotional Experience
The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides an opportunity for katharsis because the plot goes into significant detail about a situation in which humanity was affected. The setting and time period of which The Divine takes place presents conflicts with child labor laws, working conditions that were not ideal, the division of societal class, gender, and more. Seeing the conflict between all of these points of the story make for emotional piece because for ever charaacter we are able to see the sacrifices made to “be human and to be happy.”
The play also shares conflict and controversy, most of which are unsuccessful. For example, the archbishop’s attempts to cover misconducts.
This play shares the stories that no one else is willing to tell. For example, Talbot was forced to own up to a crime in which he didn’t commit (the theft of the silver wear) when in reality, he was a victim of abuse sexually and emotionally. When he had an opportunity to “come clean” he stayed quiet. This supports the claim that people are fearful of sharing their own opinions and in fact “come clean”. In Tabolt’s case, "coming clean" could have meant for not only the consequence but also for the continuous struggle his family would experience because of him.