The Divine: a play for Sarah Bernhardt

The Spatial Experience

I started my experience at the play by taking photos. The Constans Theatre itself is a very nice venue, with adequate seating, and a lovely lobby with ample room to mill among the crowd. The close proximity of the stage to the seating gave me a little bit of a sense of excitement as it neared closer to showtime. I thoroughly enjoyed the auditorium setting; it wasn't too big, nor too small, which provided an intimate experience with the performers yet enough room to seat a sizable crowd. I feel like appreciating the setting around an individual is a key component in appreciating the world, and a step toward achieving the good life.

(me pictured with my friends Niran and Jacob in bad photo quality)

The Social Experience

I attended the play with my roommate and another friend from my dorm. We met there around 10 minutes before the show started to take pictures and talk. It was a much more rewarding experience attending the play with friends, because we were able to share our expectations before and thoughts afterwards of it. It made visiting the theatre a more fun experience, and a more memorable one as well. In my opinion, experiencing events such as this play with others enhances the memory of the event, and gives a context to talk about and remember it in the future. Remembering fun times that have happened in the past, in the future, is another component of a good, fulfilled life.

The Cultural/Intellectual Experience

The theme of child labor and fighting for better working conditions was a point of interest to me in this production. Through my history classes in high school, I have a little bit of background on this historical issue, and seeing it presented on the stage was a nice supplement and solid other perspective on viewing the issue. It also shows the power of the humanities to convey problems from a social movement to the public, transcending generations. This way of lasting through history comes through, in my opinion, the way of theatre to entertain while still bringing to light what the writer/director wants.

The Emotional Experience

In this play, there are several characters which display a story of katharsis. Michaud, for example, suppresses his desire to act/write plays while in seminary school. During the play, he finds an outlet to do so through his meeting with Sarah, and this allows him to "come clean" about what actually makes him feel happy and fulfilled. Sarah revels in the attention she receives from acting in her plays, however this is challenged by the meaningful connection established with Michaud during the playwriting process. A very key component of achieving the good life is to be honest with oneself about what actually gives us happiness in life, and not to suppress these aspirations with doubt or worry.

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