The Spatial Experience: When first entered the Constans Theatre, I was trapped by its elegance and artistic atmosphere. The lobby was quite bright and dynamic, with white as the main theme of coloring. However, when I walked into the seating area, a dark and gloomy stage sits right in front of my face, which quiets me down and settles me into the mood for a trip to historic story. I have to say I enjoyed a lot how the stage was settled in the whole performance hall. The stage is resided lower than the audience seats, which enables the surface of it to be on the same level as the first row. The stage was also designed to take a very deep space from the audiences, which makes the setting more vivid and compelling.
The Social Experience: I went to the performance by myself. Although it sounds a little boring to go to such a social event alone, it turns out I have enjoyed the show more because of my choice of going alone. Before the performance started, I was able to rather comprehensively read through the brochure, which introduces the setting of the plot and some major characters including Michaud, Talbot and Bernhardt. I also felt it easier to be fully immersed in the play because I was alone, since I did not need to keep part of my attention on my accompanies.
Me before the play started
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt is based on Quebec City, 1908. While I was watching the play, many details about the time period and the characters' life style reminds me of the life in China back in the similar period. For example, when Talbot argued with his brother on the ethics on bringing silverware from his school, it reminded me of the poor life quality was as well prevalent in China in the early 20th century. All these details included in the play makes the plot vivid and highly relatable, even after 100 years and even for someone coming from a culture of the other side of the world.
The Emotional Experience: The story of The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt was definitely inspiring. Apart from the twisting plots, what impressed me the most was in fact some basic traits of the characters' personalities that were shown in the beginning of the play. For instance, Bernhardt's pickiness on the quality of play and her great confidence in her charisma and ability makes me realize the importance of ambition; Michaud's great passion for theatre and his devotion to tedious work and practice initiated my motivation.
A selfie with the "American Man" after the play