The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt By sarah mar

The view of the stage from my seat.

The Spatial Experience

As I walked into the theater, I felt a feeling of isolation come upon me. Stepping into a black room with the stage lit dimly isolated me from my normal life. It gave me the feeling of taking a quick trip to another time and another world that I would only be able to visualize and not partake in. The size of the auditorium was decently big, with some portions of the audience seats on the same level of the stage itself. With a large auditorium and a large stage, it was easier to understand the spatial conditions of the scenes portrayed. I was seated on the first row that shared the same level of the stage and with this I had certain advantages. In the opening scene Sarah Bernhardt came walking through the audience passing by right next to me. Since i was so close to the actors and actresses, I felt as if I was in the scene and not in my seat. When the audience quieted and the lights dimmed, I felt excited to see what the play would be about and how I would feel after watching the play. Our placement in life determines if we will have a good life without any burden or if we will have to earn and strive for the good life.

A selfie of my roommate and me (I have consent to use this photo).

The Social Experience

I attended this play with my roommate Elizabeth, who is also enrolled in The Good Life this semester. Before entering the theater, we predicted what this play would be about and what the themes would be. Having a friend with me during this performance made me more comfortable because I would have someone to discuss the play with after. It is important to have shared experiences with others because those experiences will serve as a foundation for the relationship, as well as a marker that both can relate back to and understand.

A selfie of me in front of the art pieces outside of the theater.

The Cultural/ Intellectual Experience

Even though this play takes places in Quebec City in 1905, our society today still shows these issues of poverty, ignorance and unnecessary tragic events. After watching this play I have realized that even today, not many people are aware of how other social classes live and battle to stay alive. I also learned that we must take advantage of allowing the public to hear our voices through certain mediums such as the arts. Before I watched this play, I knew that many people are suffering with how our country's hierarchy works and restricts others from excelling. This play has made me more knowledgable on the history of poverty and the sacrifices families made to stay alive. My views did not change but they have been strengthened because this needs to be addressed in our country and people need to spread awareness on this topic. This play's issues such as poverty, child deaths and ignorance have a strong relationship to what is going on in America at this moment. There are higher administrative officials in this country that are being nominated that have no knowledge of how those in the lower class live. And they continue to not address these situations and make profit off of the working class.

This picture of factory workers was taken from the Burton Latimer Heritage Society. The link to find this picture is http://www.burtonlatimer.info/industry/Children-at-work.htm.

The Emotional Experience

The Play "The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt" displays many issues dealing with politics to religion. As Michaud longs to write his own play, he discovers the tragedies and risks those in poverty go through and take to stay alive. His character symbolizes those who have been raised in decent conditions and have no idea how those in poverty stay alive and make ends meet. Sarah Bernhardt symbolizes the power of theater and how it can convey a message to everyone. When the child workers die in the second act, the audience as well as the characters in the play are beginning to see how unethical rules lead to despair and mourning. All of these characters and situations give the audience a katharsis, allowing us to realize the flaws in society and how to learn from them, as well as coming clean.

Created By
Sarah Mar
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