The Divine: A play for Sarah Bernhart Aaron Tiktin

When I entered the auditorium, I felt instantly relaxed by the openness and soothing lighting. I was seated in the middle of the audience so I had a nice, symmetrical view of the stage. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted I felt excited for the play to start. The size of the auditorium made me feel small but part of something much larger than myself. The role of place in the Good Life is very important. One's environment can be very impactful on mood and comfortability.

Attending the performance with my room mate made my experience much more enjoyable and comfortable. To get ready for the performance we put on some nice looking clothing and ate a quick dinner. By attending the performance with my room mate, Orlando, I felt as if I had another person who understood the play the same way I did. Occasionally, throughout the play we would exchange looks and both knew we were thinking the same thoughts which made the experience more enjoyable. The role of shared experiences is very important in the Good Life because the way we see our friends is a reflection of ourselves. We feel we are not going through life alone but with companions who understand us.

The central issue addressed in the play, is the conflict between theatre and the Church. In the play, the two priests are sent to give Sarah Bernhardt a letter stating that she will not be allowed to perform. Sarah unmoved, vows to perform anyway. Before attending the performance, I knew that some religious Catholics believe that watching plays for entertainment is a sin. Although my views were unchanged after watching the performance, I did better understand the complexity of the conflict between theatre and the Church. I feel this issue does have a sort of relationship with my life. Often, people may judge my personal decisions as sinful while I feel as if no one should have a final say in my life besides me.

I definitely believe that the play can give one a feeling of katharsis. In the United States, we have had time periods where we took actions and made decisions that would be looked down upon today. Even today there are some uglier sides to our country that help it run. The play brings some of these past workings to light and helps us acknowledge that our country did partake in immoral actions. By acknowledging this, we can make sure that nothing of the sort ever happens again.

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