the Good Life PerformanceThe Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt at Constans Theatre
The physical setting of the theatre is almost hidden away next to the Reitz. Most other people entered from the Reitz but I entered from the main entrance, and it was a cool experience walking through the blue lights towards the lobby. The lobby had a fantastic display of modern art and was sleek yet cozy. Entering into the actual theatre, I also felt very comfortable. The size wasn't small but it wasn't overbearingly large, and so although I sat closer to the back I still had a great view. Once the play began I noticed that the design of the theatre really helped echo the projections of the actors and actresses: I felt locked into the story right away. It was also really neat how the actors and actresses used the space of the theatre such as the walkways, to become closer and more interactive with the audience. The role of place has a significant impact on our good life, as it shapes our interactions and experiences within it.
Although I attended the performance by myself, I was able to interact with fellow strangers. before going out, I Made sure I had dressed nicely and Once I got there I met someone who also went by himself. We helped each other take pictures before going inside. Despite not knowing anyone when watching the play, I felt connected through our claps and reactions which were in unison. We shared many of the same emotions and it almost felt like we were one body. I definitely see that shared experienceS Play a role in sympathy, empathy, and comfort when seeking the good life.
The performance really opened my eyes into a different culture and time period. The play took place a decade ago in the catholic controlled city of Quebec. The central issues of corruption in power, and seeking truth and justice, folded within both the ostensibly bad factories and ostensibly holy church. I did know beforehand through history class that the working conditions during the industrial revolution were abysmal and also even very recently there is corruption in the Catholic Church through covering up molestations. The performance really highlighted a view to not generalize things as good or bad, but go deeper and question humanity and its flaws when power comes as a corrupting force. Personally, as a non denominational christian, the play actually reinforces my belief in God, because God is holy and perfect and cannot be corrupted like the priests or factory owners. It was somewhat hypocritical when the brother in the play was accusing the factory owner of not treating children well when there was a priest in his own church that molested him, but in my belief God will not have the same hypocrisy. I believe it is a reminder to not only rely on people but focus my effort towards finding truth directly.
The Good life performance clearly provides catharsis through the recognition of hidden corruptions in society. That includes flaws within seemingly good institutions as well as outright sins. The play serves to question powerful and normal forces of society, seeking justice for those whose cries may not be heard. I felt a nagging of injustice and pain until everything was laid on the table. Its in this way, through theatre, we can understand our true nature more deeply and move forward towards the GOOD life.
Picture Link for Page 4:
Bouchard, Michel Marc. The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. Found, Amazon,com, 30 January 2017, https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51tyKSHzMBL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg