The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Hanna Gibson

The Spatial Experience

When I first entered the Constans Theatre, I was deeply impressed by the size of the auditorium and amount of seats. As I sat in the center of the second row, I was very lucky to have an up close and unobstructed view of the stage. As the lights dimmed and the show began, my location allowed me to feel transported out of my world and into that of the play.The flashing lights the opening that mirrored paparazzi's cameras flashing at the main character instantly drew my attention to Sarah Bernhardt and took me into the setting. While the auditorium was large, my close proximity to the stage made me feel as if I were alone and actually in the play itself. This serves to demonstrate the role of place in the Good Life as one's location will always affect your perspective. (photo from entrance of Constans Theatre)

The Social Experience

I attended the play with my friend Julia (whose permission I received to share this photo). As we are very like minded people, we had similar outlooks and commentary on the play. It was nice to go with someone who understood my perspective and had a similar outlook. However, I also enjoyed sitting next to strangers as they had entirely different opinions of the play. The juxtaposition of opinions was nice as it provided a more holistic and diverse view and enhanced the play as a whole. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is important because the balance of shared views and diversity of opinions provides a more unique experience and creates a feeling of happiness and support that adds to the experience in a way solitude can't provide.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

In The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, the play deals with the central issues of oppression in the church, the importance of the arts and the struggles of poverty. The play was set in Quebec city during the 1900s and it portrayed through the two seminary students: Tolbert and Michaud. I knew very little about the horrors of this time so was shocked to see the multitude of oppression and poverty as it cultivated into the tragic factory death of Tolbert's younger brother, Leo. Growing up without the direct effects of poverty in my own life, I related to Michaud's ignorance and misunderstanding of the reality of poverty. It reminded me to count my blessings and not assume that I truly understand a situation unless I have experienced it firsthand. (photo from lobby of Constans Theatre)

The Emotional Experience

Throughout the play, Sarah Bernhardt pushes the people of Quebec City to accept change and challenges the societal norms through the example of her own controversial art and life style. Her art emphasizes the role of art in pushing the boundaries and questioning the status quo. This thus serves as a reminder that times are constantly evolving and we must be willing to adapt to them in all aspects of life. This provided katharsis as it is directly applicable in my life. As a college freshman, I am in a completely new environment dealing with changes ranging from new friends a new president, and a new home. Like Sarah, I need to push myself against conformity in order to achieve the good life. This reminded me to push myself to embrace these new changes and thrive in these challenges order to push myself instead of falling into the status quo. The play ultimately allowed me to "come clean" as it allowed me to reflect upon how there will always be faults in society and in myself, yet it is how you evolve and change that really matters. (photo from lobby of Constans Theatre)

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