Good Life Performance the Divine: a Play for Sarah burnhardt (image from uf constans theater website)

Good Life Performance: A truly wonderful experience that I wish to do again in my stay at UF. This spark notes story will dive into the Spatial, Social, Intellectual, and Emotional aspects of my attendance of the Good Life Play "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Burnhardt."

The Spatial Experience

The Spatial Experience: As I entered the theater and was showed me seat on the left middle section of the auditorium I began to feel excitement. I knew I would have a perfect view of the show and be the perfect distance to hear every word. As the lights dimmed and everyone made sure their cell phones were on silent, I was getting gradually more and more excited. I love going to the theater. It's one of my simple pleasures in life. So needless to say I soaked in the whole experience, since theater is something that contributes personally to my good life. It's always an amazing feeling when you're in such a big crowd but then, all at once, everyone respects that the show is starting and all conversation stops. When this works flawlessly it's absolutely beautiful. (Image from http://westendseating.tumblr.com/)

The Social Experience

The Social Experience: I went to the show with my good friend Noelle. We took our time getting ready and making sure we looked cute and by the time we were ready we looked and the time and went "OH SHOOT" and had to run all the way to the Constans Theater! We ended up getting there with enough time use the restroom, get a drink of water and take our seats. On my way to my seat though I noticed a familiar face, I recognized this person from somewhere... Then it hit me! Oh it's Tom from my Greek Drama class! After a bit of conversation I found out that he was the same Tom Miller inside the playbill that did all the sound design. So we chatted about that for a bit and then I realized I needed to find Noelle and take my seat, so Tom and I agreed to continue this conversation afterwards. Noelle and I had such a great time even though the play was super long, it was the shared experience and conversation afterwards that truly makes experiences like this great. (Image taken personally and with permission of Noelle)

I talked to Tom Miller afterwards after class the next week and learned all about the process of sound design. He stayed for some of the talk back after show, but only long enough to be acknowledged. I learned from Tom that each sound down to a doorbell or phone ring has to be planned out so the sound person in the back has everything they need to play. Every song, every punch sound effect, everything was hand picked by Tom and the stage manager. Pretty interesting stuff right?

Furthermore, the talk balk itself was also an interesting social experience. Noelle, myself, and many others that stayed got to talk to the actors directly and hear about their unique experiences of theater. How they got into the program, how they actually can't turn down a role once they are offered it (which I found quite funny) and so much more information. It reminded me like after a traditional play where you go out in the lobby and meet the actors. This felt a bit more forced but definitely more insightful, it was much like an acting panel like at some kind of convention.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: Honestly this play was simply fantastic. This play explored the world of the early 1900s. Where child labor and under-payed workers dominated the work force and catholic priest cover-ups were at an all time high. This play somehow manages to bundle child rape and death into an enjoyable, at some moments comedic, play. The dark undertones of the whole play only contrast the comedy even more. The comedy similarly, makes the darkness of it all really become apparent. Comedy and tragedy just always pair so well.

Additionally, this play dives into the issue of the separation of church and state as the catholic church tries to shut down the local theater's performance. I wouldn't say that this play really changed my perspective on anything, but it definitely informed me of a lot of things. I had never seen such a good interpretation of the tragedies of industrial 1900s America and the struggle between church, state, and the people. It really showed me a whole different side of things through the power of theater. Unfortunately I can't really relate to this play too much, but the struggles the characters go through internally are something everyone can relate to. (photo from blog on rampages.us)

The Emotional Experience

The Emotional Experience: This play might be one of the best examples of katharsis for a general audience to experience. This play is a perfect purge of emotion. It has saddness, comedy, conflict. It brings the viewer of a roller coaster of emotions and at the end one looks at themselves and can analyse their own flaws. Like the main character attempting the become a priest but he can't stop fighting, having women and having booze. That may be a character someone could identify with. The true katharsis in this play though, happens when the young boy dies. He's knocking for air and eventually stops knocking. He's then found dead. Immediately after this we get all the details of the priest that raped our main character and how he raped many others. This show really throws the viewer on a wild ride.

Conclusion

Conclusion: All in all, this play at the Constans Theater was an amazing experience and would definitely recommend to anyone that is a fan of comedy, or tragedy. Additionally, for anyone who has never been to a play of any kind, you must go! The experiences are unparalleled.

Created By
Logan Ritten
Appreciate

Credits:

http://arts.ufl.edu/in-the-loop/news/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-opens-january-27/ http://westendseating.tumblr.com/ https://rampages.us/sking112334/2015/11/01/contraception-and-the-catholic-church/

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