The Good Life meets Sarah Benhardt Jacob Parker

The Spatial Experience

Left: Courtesy of Google Images Right: Photo taken by Myself

Walking into the theater was an interesting experience in itself. I walked in and was immediately escorted into the theater, a theater that had nearly every seat filled. I was caught off guard by how full the audience was considering this was the first showing of the play. I sat down and was towards the back of the seats, all the way to the right of the middle section, near the stairs. Originally, I was unhappy with my seating because I was not in the center of the audience, and therefore, not facing stage center. However, as the play transpired, there were times where the cast members would come into the audience, and even used the stairs that were directly next to me. By walking into the audience, the actors were better able to engage the audience, and captivate them, not only with the play, but with their specific performances. The role of place in the Good Life is important, because if things are array, or not where they should be, something that helps aid one to achieving the good life, can actually help detract them from reaching it.

The Social Experience

Photo taken by Myself

Although I had initially planned on going to see The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt with a group of friends, due to a miscommunication, I ended up sitting alone for the first Act of the play. I found it enjoyable to be alone, as I had no desire in talking, nor in many other distractions that might have happened had I been there with someone I knew. During the intermission, I met up with my friend, and we sat together for the rest of the play. Viewing the play with a friend did enhance the experience though. He provided thought-provoking questions, I had never thought about. I believe that this is a good metaphor for achieving the good life. Sometimes, for us to reach the good life, we must ask others their opinions, and listen intently to them, to gain a different perspective on it.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt takes place in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, and it is located in a major city in Canada. The main conflict of the story came from the apparent misconceptions of how those in poverty live, by those that have money. Common misconceptions, such as poor people are poor because they want to be, are rampant throughout the play. Personally, having visited many impoverished countries, these misconceptions are true even today. Until you see in person how those living in third world countries go about the average day, you can never fully understand the trials they undergo. I believe that the point of the play is exactly that, you can never understand how society truly works, until you choose to walk in the shoes of those that have less.

The Emotional Experience

Photos taken by Myself

Even though the main cultural issue in the play is not revealed until the second act, personally, with some critical analysis of the time period, where they went to school, and who the characters are, I inferred it. The twist was not expected by many, and they did a fantastic job addressing this issue. Today, society still views how the Catholic Church molested young boys as a taboo issue, and rarely is it discussed, and almost never has there been justice for the victims of the assaults. However, I believe this play inspired others to talk about it, and find a way to not only stop it from happening, but to bring the issue to light. The play is an amazing view into the depths, and the wrongdoings of the catholic church, yet it does so without coming across as sacrilegious, which is very important for most when viewing said play. This play does a great job providing the opportunity for katharis.

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