The Spatial Experience
When I entered the Constans Theatre, I felt overwhelmed. I felt as though I was lost in a sea of people. However, as I found my way through the theatre, I noticed that any sounds that were made in the theatre were amplified, allowing each step I took towards my seat resonate a bit. When I finally seated myself, the audience quieted down and the lights dimmed, enabling the sounds of the start of the play to be singled out, and magnified- even to the left corner of the theatre by the stage, where my seat was located. The relatively large size of the theatre made me feel as though the play would be universally projected to everyone, but not large enough for the projection to be impersonal. It seems the role of the theatre, or place rather, was to construct a mutual relationship between the audience and the play without distraction from the outside world.
The Social Experience
I found that attending the play with friends has impacted my experience of the play immensely. While preparing for the play, I checked to make sure that I had the bare essentials required for attendance. I had my Gator1 card, but I didn't have a collared shirt due to the fact that I was still washing the two that I have with me. As a result, I was very anxious about being rejected from the theatre due to my lack of preparation. However, my friends were able to relieve my tension through casual conversation, and I miraculously found my way into the theatre regardless. I found that my friends also enhanced my experience by providing different perspectives of the play that I had not considered while watching it. For example, Chas noted that Sarah Bernhardt is an example of female empowerment that existed in a time period where prominent women were not as celebrated compared to modern times. This notion contributed to my understanding of the uniqueness of the play. To me, it seemed that shared experiences create a more complete understanding of a topic (i.e. the play).
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
While watching the play, I made the conclusion that the play seemed to address issues that are very prevalent in the modern American society. The primary issue that I believed the play addressed were the moral implications of socioeconomic class distinction as well as the moral boundaries Talbot must break in order to transcend his lower class denomination. I also noted that the air of haughtiness that Sarah Bernhardt seemed to exhibit was very similar to that of wealthy celebrities in Hollywood today. Before coming to the play, I was aware the power of arrogance to blind an individual from reality, especially those who are part of the upper echelon of society; however, watching the play provided me with insight as to the differences in cognition between those with excess in resources and those in short of resources. The play made me realize that a surplus of fortune in any form may blind me from the truth of reality if I allow it, like Talbot's fellow emissary and Bernhardt. I've found that a lack of failure in academics could make me grow cocky with my study habits, like it had in the past.
The Emotional Experience
Watching the play provided me with my own moment of katharsis. After realizing the issues addressed in the play, I came to realize my own vanity expressed in similar forms to Bernhardt and shoe factory owner. Having taken many of the luxuries I had been provided in life for granted, I never stopped to consider the struggles of others to attain such luxuries. I may have unintentionally disrespected the less fortunate by doing so. The range of emotions I felt included shame and guilt. In order to confirm that I understood the issues addressed in the play, I took a minute to ask the actress who played Sarah Bernhardt a question. I asked her, "where did you find the inspiration for Sarah Bernhardt's persona?" She replied, "Nicki Minaj."