The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Common Activities Good Life: Tatiana Radulovic

Pre Performance
Before the Performance: While waiting for the line of students entering the theatre to lessen, I grabbed a picture to show our excitement before the play.

The Spatial Experience:

I love the theatre, and always made an appearance at my old school's performances, however I had yet to go to the Constant Theatre. Immediately when I walked in, I could hear a change in the sound. It was quieter then the normal echo-filled and loud student union, inside all the noise was muffled and people were talking in a whisper. My eyes wondered around the room and fixated on the beautiful grand piano sitting in the left corner, then to the sculptures hanging above on the right stairwell, finally I met eyes with the ticket check-in and a warm smile was on her face. The auditorium was a lot smaller then I was used to. I sat in the last row in the corner. From my birds eye view of the stage I eyed the set while the lights were still on, wondering, as I always do before a performance, what are the sets going to become? Each new set starts off unfamiliar, but by the end of the performance the few beds on the stage have a whole new meaning.

“When the lights go down and the audience falls silent, we all hold our breath.”

This quote, that comes from the play, perfectly sums up theatre. While shuffling into my seat, there was a dull roar of sounds from students, conversations, phones, but as soon as the lights dim, it all goes silent. Everyone's full attention goes towards the stage, and my eyes light up when I watch the first scene fold out. Watching a live performance rather then a movie is an amazing experience and I can see why this exposure to the theatre plays a role in the Good Life. I , especially during this play, had a lot to think about as different scenes played out. It brought up harsh topics with the church and poverty, and made it feel as if I were part of the performance. Yet, I think the most important aspect of theatre that ties in with Good Life, is the art form behind it. From the costumes, to the intricate sets, to the hours and hours of commitment the actors put into the performance it is truly remarkable. They have a passion for something, and put so much time into it to please others as well as themselves, and it is inspiring.

The Constans Theatre

The Social Experience:

I made reservations for the play with my boyfriend. We picked a date we were both free, and excitedly added the event to our journals. Then my dad surprised visited that same day. My boyfriend and I, rushed from dinner with my family to make it on time for the play, and my grandmother was so impressed with our plans to watch 'the theatre!!' as she said it. I prefer to have someone with me to watch 'the theatre' because they can get my live feedback during the play. After a scene, or when something intense happens I bring up comments such as, "Oh, but thats not right, he can't do that" or "Wow, his acting is so professional, he really plays the character well." Sharing this experience with someone, especially someone who you love, creates a certain bond. My favourite pass time after plays, or movies is to discuss the plot after. Do you agree with what happened? Would something have made a better impression on the crowd if placed differently? These lengthy and intellectual conversations after stimulate your mind, and broadens your view with other peoples perspectives.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Prior to the performance I had a a fairly detailed knowledge about the Catholic church, and how the church used to hold more powerful than the government. I learned about the indulgences , and corruptness that the Catholic church had in my world history classes. However, one thing that threw me off was the setting of the play. Canada? When, if ever, is Canada mentioned in world history textbooks. I felt a bit ignorant, that I had just assumed that Canada was irrelevant in our world's history. I was also in shock when I saw the way the church and high priests were covering up the raping of young boys. It shows how corrupt the word of God was to them, that the reputation of the church was more important then the well being of an individual, especially one integrated within their church. Also, all these social issues, with poverty and factory conditions were brought to the surface with the vibrant Sarah Bernhart. She was an advocate for questioning the role of people, especially people of authority, and she wanted to create a performance that would bring controversy because it spoke on behalf of people who couldn't. Throughout the performance, I couldn't help but have a distasteful attitude towards the church. I haven't been very religious, especially in recent years, and this play made me agree with my recent choices. I know that in the present day times Christianity is not in that state of corruption, but I still feel uncomfortable with the notion of "Because our God wants this, or asks you to forgive". The priest was using the word of God to justify a rape. There is an aspect about Christianity, that more recently I haven't agreed on , and this play helped me identify my uncertainty in my place with the religion.

The Emotional Experience

Something I love about theatre, are the emotional connections I can make with the characters. When I think about 'coming clean' I immediately think of Talbot, and how he didn't come clean. Well, in a sense he did he told Michaud, but he made the decision to not tell the police, even after the confession was made. There was a reason he didn't, I think it was because of the pressure from the church and how they made him feel not as a victim but, as the cause. Michaud on the other hand did come clean. He was almost awakened by Sarah about his role in the church, or even his role in life. He did not agree with the church, and wanted to be expressive of his passion, standing up for what is right. His character, was able to go to the police because he was made to feel bad about the situation , he could see it from an outside perspective. Each character in their own sense, had a version of coming clean. Whether it be admitting the harsh qualities of the factories but also bringing up the cycle of consumerism. If he shuts down his factory, another one just as badly run will appear. Even the high priest had a moment of coming clean. This play ended with each individual character coming to a trivial point in their lives, and the decision they lead way for their future. Just like us, college students, who have a passion for learning, and making a stand, we are at a trivial moment in our lives right now and so many of the choices we make now are leading to our futures.

Post Performance
Exiting the Theatre: Snapped a photo while trying to avoid the crowd of people leaving.

Photo Citation: "University of Florida Constans Theater Air Handling Unit T2 Replacement." Foresight. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

Quote & Cover Picture Citation: Mbiance. "La Divine Illusion- The Divine." Michel Marc Bouchard - Pices - La Divine Illusion- The Divine. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

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