The Devine play

The Devine is a play that takes place in Quebec City in December 1905 and treats issues of poverty, sexuality, religion and ethical and moral rights of the beginning of the 20th century.

In the picture, Dana Awaad and Kerol Kaskaviqi. January 2017

The Social Experience - I attended the performance with Dana Awaad, a class mate of mine. Being able to watch the play with her was a very rewarding experience, specially because she comes from a very strong religious background. During the performance she would sometimes hold my hand tighter and tighter because certain issues pertaining sex and religion were very personal for her. I was able to discuss the importance of life and the escapism one finds in religion with her after the play. We both agreed that religion is something that comes within one self. There is no book that can teach you what to believe in. Moreover, there should be no hierarchy when it comes to believing in god. In the eyes of god we are all equals: human beings. The theme of equality rose in other terms too. When talking about privilege among the brothers, one did child labor to sustain the other brother's education. In a moral family that treats all their children as equal, there should be no such thing as privilege among one or the other. Equality is what makes us feel human after all and denying that to specific individuals is denying them the Good Life.

The Program of the Devine. January 2017

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience - I found the themes of privilege and sexuality very interesting. I come from Albania which is not a very religious country but nonetheless sex is still a tabu. I found some similarities in the way the characters never explicitly talked about sexual abuse. The topic was shut down or discussed in a third person as if it was not a personal matter. The attention was withdrawn from oneself into another character in order to keep oneself pure. A similar perception is applied in my culture as well. Although, sex is not a way to gain privilege. That however raised certain questions as: "If I lived in a more privileged community, would sex be a way of gaining favors?" Being able to apply such notions in everyday life taught me that despite societies developing, some core fundamentals remain the same. Such would be the power that comes with a job position or the good economic conditions of one.

Kerol Kaskaviqi, Dana Awaad and Rachel after the play. January 2017.

The Emotional Experience - Being so close to the actors and observing every body movement, every high tone of their voice gave a very different impact than watching it on TV. Part of me lived through the sufferings of Talbot and his struggles between religion and life's pleasures. Another part of me died with his brother and the unfair child labor. Another part of me fell in love with Sarah Bernhardt and her understanding of social justice but also her ignorance in acknowledging white supremacy. Ethical questions of privacy, self identity and transparency rose from my favorite passive characters: the media. The katharthis is achieved through everyone following their dreams and aspirations despite the society's expectations. Sarah Bernhardt followed her dream to play a man's role, Michaud became a play writer etc.

Sculptures and Posters taken outside the theatre. January 2017.

The Spatial Experience - When entering the theatre the setting was very minmal and I did not expect a lot from the inside environment. There were certain sculptures and posters on the walls that previewed the artistic experience but due to the massive crowd it was impossible to fully understand their meaning. However, once I entered the theater, the scenery stunned me. The stained glass windows were perfectly made. As soon as the play begun, there was snow falling and everything felt so real that it seemed as if I was living with the characters. I was particularly fascinated with the way they designed the sleeping beds and turned them into sawing tables when flipped. Also they would use the dress room of the Devine in order to hide objects that were used or would be used later on. The utility and the scenery were very well thought. Also I loved the fact that they had put water canes by the beds so that after the confession, Michaud and Talbot could wash their hands and faces while acting. It was through the design and brilliant utility of the objects in the scenery that I got to enjoy the play at its fullest.

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