The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt The live constans theatre experience - By Diego Crespo

My Spatial Experience

The physical setting of the theatre was not a surprise to me because I have attended performances shown in the theatre before. My experience during this performance was just as fulfilling as the other times I've been inside. As I walked into the auditorium, I noticed the faint lights and the bright red seats. I was pleased with the set because I could tell it was going to be an interesting play when I saw the church windows and the six twin beds on set.

A photo taken walking into the theatre.

My seat location was on the front row of the rightmost section of the theatre. I enjoyed this section very much because it was right next to a door that the actors would use to go in and out of the set so I could see the actors up close. However, I couldn't see the main production as well because I was watching the play at an angle.

When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, I could feel the excitement. When the play began, the dark, vast auditorium made it feel like I was part of the storyline. This high level of interest in something can be applied to someone's search for the Good Life. The ability to completely focus your attention and dive into a whole other world while doing something no matter where you are can bring you closer to true happiness.

My Social Experience

I attended the performance with my friend John Kim. It was very enlightening to be able to discuss my experiences with my friend. It is much better to be able to exchange thoughts and ideas about the play, rather than keeping your ideas to yourself. I also spoke with a stranger about the play. It was interesting to hear various perspectives about the play because it allowed me to be more open-minded.

Luckily, I have seen many other plays before, so I knew what to expect. Plays are much more demanding than movies because they do not have the visual effects that aid the experience. I knew I had to be prepared for the highly analytical adventure I was going to embark on.

Shared experiences is an important aspect to achieving the Good Life. As much as we don't want to admit it, we are all dependent on other people to make us happy. Humans are social animals, which means human interactions are necessary for the Good Life. Shared experiences allows people to gain knowledge from not only their own input, but from other people's inputs as well.

Courtesy of Shuttershock: This photo symbolizes the combination of individual experiences that make up one unforgettable shared experience.

My Cultural and Intellectual Experience

This brought to attention many social issues that existed at the time, and even exist now. In the early 1900s in Canada, there was great inequality and unethical child labor happening, as well as political power being given to religious institutions. However, those issues still exist today. The main issue was to bring to light the hardships that impoverished individuals face and how people with money and power can do whatever they please.

Before the play, I did not know much about Canadian history. However, I understand that a lot of the same issues were happening in the United States. I knew that child labor and unsafe factory equipment were huge issues that occurred at the time for both countries. Personally, I believe the most important issue in the play was the religious institutions having too much power. In the story, the Catholic institution had the power to halt Sarah Bernhardt's performance and make sure that Talbot did not admit to the world that he was molested by the priest.

After the performance, we had the opportunity to stay and discuss with the cast about their feelings of the play's social issues. The whole experience made me realize that money and power can lead to injustice. Today, we see power held by a wealthy few, which can lead to dire consequences if not acknowledged. Also, the cast discussion was about how the mindset that theatre is futile can negatively affect the experience of watching live theatre. I learned that people with this particular mindset might not be affected by the theatre itself, but by other individuals after the show that were affected.

A photo of some of the actors in a discussion with the audience after the show.

My Emotional Experience

In The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, the audience realizes that humans are far from perfect. Although many social issues are brought to the attention of so many people, the play offers an opportunity for audience members to realize that they need to be aware of their actions when leaving the play.

The play made me realize that no one can ever fix greed. Greed was the cause of unsafe child labor being done because the owner of the factory did not pay Mrs. Talbot enough so that her son didn't have to find work. What we can do as people is make sure that we are more generous than we are greedy. When Sarah Bernhardt gave Michaud the opportunity to perform in front of an audience and visited the factory to get a better understanding of the impoverished people's experiences, she was being generous. Even though it might have seemed like she was a pretentious actress, she tried her best to give back to people in ways she thought was best.

A photo of myself leaving the performance feeling fulfilled.

I believe that everyone in the audience has been greedy about something in their life. Although we need to take care of ourselves, we need to do a better job of giving back as well. If we all learn to become more generous, we will become a better human race.

Links to photos used:

Theatre Title Photo

Shared Experiences Shuttershock Photo

Created By
Diego Crespo
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