In the lobby, at the beginning of the show (Taken by my roommate, Alysse)
My experience at the theater was much different than at the Natural History Museum and the Harn Art Museum. As a member of the audience, I was actively engaged and participating in the show, rather than simply observing as I was at the museums.
The Spatial Experience
The spatial arrangement of the theater really intrigued me. Upon arrival, I was put off by the small size of the lobby. However, when I actually entered the theater, I was surprised by its actual size and impressive set-up. The size and lighting of the theater lent to a sense of silent respect and appreciation that I believe was felt by all of the theater-goers. My seat in the middle of the theater allowed me the perfect view to engage with the performance.
The role of place in the good life is often underestimated. Our spatial surroundings often have a significant effect on our mood and sense of happiness, which can in turn affect our pursuit of the good life. For example, individuals who live in places that receive less light than others often report higher scores of depression.
The Social Experience
I attended the performance with my roommate and a close friend of ours. We did not end up sitting together, as we got ushered in with two separate groups. It was nice to be able to talk about the performance afterwards with them, to better understand some of the deeper thematic movements within the play.
Shared experiences often have the effect of helping us on our journey to find the good life, as it establishes a sense of support that is necessary for our social well-being.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The play touched upon a multitude of themes, but the most prevalent was the juxtaposition of poverty and wealth (embodied by Michaud and Talbot). Re-framing the issue through the lens of the Industrial Revolution allowed me to adopt a different perspective to it. I could see the effect that Talbot's poverty had on his relationships with his family, the seminarians, and his views on life. I can see these effects of poverty on the individual extend into our society -those I know who are in poverty experience closer m(though sometimes strained) familial relationships and much different priorities than say a person who has considerable wealth. Thus, an impoverished individual would have a very different pursuit of the good life than a wealthy individual.
The Emotional Experience
"Theatre is the sister of History and Philosophy, of Politics and Justice. Theatre reveals turpitude and excess. It denounces tyrants by portraying their tyranny. It educates the ignorant without their realizing it. It opens our minds. It touches our hearts. It punishes. It pardons. It seeks the truth." -Sarah Bernhardt
The Divine embodies this quote and the concept of katharsis by bringing to mind social issues such as poverty, class, victimization and putting them into context for viewers. The audience can then examine themselves and their society to see how these issues manifest and how they can be fixed -allowing for the possibility of a society that aids the pursuit of the good life for the individual.
Outside of the theater, at the end of the show (Taken by my roommate, Alysse)