The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Jenna Alderuccio

The Spacial Experience

When I entered the theatre I immediately noticed how crowded it was even though the play wasn't suppose to start for another 20 minutes. Due to the mass amounts of people in the theatre, I was ushered to the back of the theatre. Being in the back allowed me to get up and use the bathroom easily, but I think sitting in the back takes away from the entire experience. I believe if I was in the first couple of rows, I would have felt like I was in the play myself and not just a spectator. When the lights dimmed for the play to begin, my heart started beating a little faster because I was excited for what was to come. Immediately after the lights dimmed, actors came flushing out of the side doors and started putting on a performance. The theatre was on the smaller size which made it more intimate. Overall, the role of place in the good life is extremely important because depending on where you were sitting in the theatre, you got a different experience of the play. Up close, you were able to see all the little details of the play, but in the back you were able to the stage much better. The role of place in the good life is when you are in a better place in your life, the higher chance you have of achieving the good life. (Photo by: Lexi Fisher).

The Social Experience

I saw the play with a girl named Lexi Fisher. I met Lexi right outside the theatre as we both struggled slightly to find the entrance. To get ready for the performance, I changed into some nicer clothes and read the study guide on Canvas about the play. Doing this allowed me to enter the play and immediately understand what was going on which allowed me to really get into the play. Going and sitting with Lexi at the play really enlightened the whole experience because if we did not understand something that was going on, we would quietly ask each other. We shared this experience together and I think the role shared experience has on the good life is that the good life is only achieved if you have those around you who you can celebrate it with. (I had consent from Lexi Fisher to use this photo).

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Going to this play opened up a lot of thoughts in my head. It made me think about what it was like to live during this time period, but also it made me think about what it was like to be in theatre in this time period considering theatre was moving towards realism. Before the play, the only thing I knew was that Sarah Bernhardt was a famous actress that appeared in many films and often experimented with young writers. I also knew she was famous for playing male leads in plays and was best known for her unique acting. I got all of this information from reading the study guide posted on canvas before the play. The central issue addressed in the play is that Sarah Bernhardt is set to perform in a play that "sings the praises of adulterous love." By trying to get her to not perform in the play, Brother Casgrain sends Talbot and Michuand to deliver a letter asking her not to perform. When receiving the letter, this only pushes Sarah Bernhardt to perform in the play. No subject matter had any relation to the events going on in my life, but the performance did show me the tension between religion and theatre.

The Emotional Experience

While watching The Divine, it is apparent that people will go through the process of Katharsis, the process of "coming clean." I think people go through this while watching the play because we are watching events about religion and theatre occur before us, but from the outside. This allows the audience to get an outside perspective and take note in it and relate it to the things they are going through that relate to the play. (Photo by: Lexi Fisher).

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