The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt at the Constans Theatre By: Larissa Laferriere

Introduction: On Sunday, January 29th 2017, I went to the Constans Theatre to see the play called The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt. I went with a few friends and it was a very enjoyable experience. The theater ushers were friendly and helped us to our seats.

Spatial Experience: When I first walked into the theater, I thought that it was very spacious and organized. My seat happened to be in the second row and right next to the right side of the stage. Being so close to the stage helped me feel almost apart of the play itself. When the lights dimmed, I did not know what to expect, but throughout the play I was immersed into that stage and the cast members. The place setting affected the good life. I felt as if I was part of the cast as I watched the play in admiration.

Social Experience: I have never been the Constans Theatre before so I decided that I should dress business casual. I wore a dress with an appropriate neck line and length with a pair of neutral colored flats. I attended the play with some friends, Aaron and Sarah, (both not pictured). They were my photographers for the night (haha). Walking into the play with friends helped me get comfortable in this new environment. Watching a play with friends made the process of going to my first play fun for me. Going with friends helped me become more interested in the play because they were interested as well.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The play was set in 1905 when there were few to no laws for child labor laws. The play its self was a lot of different plots. One plot is that when Talbot first came to the church, he was beaten up and we later found out that he was beaten by one of the other priests. Talbot was told to lie to the police about what happened in order to get him and his little brother's education for free. The two main concepts of the play was abuse and poverty. The play was about Talbot and how poverty affects the "good life". After Michaud met Talbot, he was inspired to write a play about the effects of poverty and had a famous actress, Sarah Berhardt, read it. Sarah immediately wanted to see what poverty was like so they went to the shoe factory where Talbot's mother and little brother worked. Little did they know that the shoe factory was employing children and many of them were getting killed by the machines. Later that day, Talbot's little brother, Leo, dies in the factory. Talbot's mother, Mrs. Talbot, claimed that she heard Talbot laughing about Leo's death and threatens to disown him. This action made Talbot lie to the court and say that he is ready to take the blame for something that he did not do. Michaud uses the power of the theater to tell everyone Talbot's story and to bring him the justice that he deserves. After learning more about the play, I learned that some people never truly understand hardship. Michaud always had a silver spoon in his mouth growing up and never was exposed to poverty, until he met Talbot. On the other hand, Talbot grew up in a poor family and his mother and younger brother had to work in order for him to go to a more expensive school to become a priest. The play challenged my values because if I were Talbot, I would not want someone writing a play about my life and letting other people play my part (Sarah Bernhardt). The subject matter about poverty hit close to home for me recently. As a college student, things can get really expensive, really fast. One minute you are paying for books, food, and the bills can be very demanding at specific times. My family works and they paying my bills while I am away at a big state college, getting an education. I'm not saying that my family is at the poverty limit, but I am saying that it is hard to be going to college, not have a job, but still know that your family is back in another state paying for the bills that I can't cover on my own.

Work Cited: Jake Lesh facebook page

Emotional Experience: The play, The Divine is a good example of presenting katharsis because it brings up the topic of poverty. Not a lot of people talk about poverty because it isn't a comfortable thing to talk about. We live in a world where money is an object that we want and need in order to live comfortably. The question is, does money or social status of poverty versus wealthy affect your idea of the "good life"?

pictures cited: cover photo - bottom photo -

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