Divine A Play for Sarah Bernhardt is a revating drama about a boy who enters a new school to be a priest, only to be dragged into the world of drama. Watching this play at UF was very interesting as it showed me that school performances do not have to be necessarily bad. The plot development and character exposition is truly beautiful on the writers side, yet the expressions and blocking was genius on the actors side.
David Cooper, The Star, Star Publications, https://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/entertainment/stage/2015/07/25/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-holds-harrowing-moments-but-doesnt-quite-jell-review/the-divine.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x722.jpg
The Spacial Experience: Upon entering the building a near ominous gloom sets down upon you. The hallways are wide, and tall, yet reflect no sound as fabric lines the surfaces. Inside the simple lay out of the set reflects the barren reality of the impoverished, and the simple life they lead. Sitting on the edge of the room I saw the play from an angle, one where one side of the stage took up most of the view, and the other half was compressed. This made actions on left stage much more dramatic, and those in right stage less important. To reach the good life, one must always be aware and accepting of their surroundings.
The Social Experience: On the day I watched the play most of the visitors left halfway through the play, and this is the view up into those empty seats. I went though with my girlfriend, and watched the play with her. I did not prepare much for the play, nor was there any real interaction during the play. This showed me the true effect of loneliness. I am a firm believer in social encounters being key to the good life, and this showed me why. Emptiness, although sometimes nice, is often the worst.
Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The performance in my opinion attempted to shed light on child labor, and the sadness of the lower class. These issues were very prominent in the time period of the play, and are still relevant today. The subject reminded me of my life in Lebanon, surrounded by poverty and child labor. Syrians now in Lebanon regularly start working t the age of 5, and start smoking soon after, just as the younger brother does in the play.
The Emotional Experience: The play in its own essence is a reflection on society, between the ideals of poverty, and child labor, to the free expression of those oppressed. The story allows us to look back on our predispositions, and those of others that have come before us. Through the factory owner, and Sarah's character we see the faults in society that the play write sought to be fixed, but simultaneously the good qualities in the successful that we wish to replicate. Ultimately the viewer is given this feeling of satisfaction through the dramatic conclusion to the play, that suits the themes it covers.