(Above: Me eating dinner before the show). The Social experience. I ate dinner beforehand as I was attending the Saturday evening performance and knew it would be some time before I ate again, I didn't wan't hunger pangs ruining my experience! Being a freshman international student I don't know many people at UF, or people taking the Good Life class, so therefore I attended the performance alone. However, I do feel this added to my experience as it allowed me to concentrate on the show more than I personally would have if I had attended with friends, as the outgoing girl I am i tend to get easily distracted. I like doing things alone, as I enjoy my own company so this did not hinder my experience whatsoever. I do enjoy spending time with others as after all life is better when shared. If I had went to the show with others , I would've been able to hear different perspectives of the play which would've been nice.
(Above: The booklet given to us upon arrival, doccumenting the characters and a brief history of the performance and setting ). Spatial Experience. I thought that Constans theatre was well layed out and very spacious. I liked how it was accessible via the Reitz Union and near a bus stop making the theatre easily accessible. I sat towards the back of the theatre but still had a great view for the entire show, due to the huge stage and angling of the seats. When the lights dimmed and the show began I was reminded of a time when I went to see a theatre production of 'King Lear' by William Shakespeare for my Final exams of high school. I was happy that the theatre was big, therefore it didn't feel so claustrophobic. The role of place in the good life, Is that every place when revisited floods you with certain memories of your time spent in a similar location.
(Above: Outside of the Constans Theatre) .The Cultural and Intellectual experience. This play made me view the world from a different perspective. It made me want to try harder to understand what life is like from someone else's perspective. Often when you are priviledged, you forget what its like to struggle for things that we all take for granted in the first world. In the 1900s Quebec city which the play was set in, times were very different than they are now. In society , people weren't viewed as equals, If you were born into poverty as one of the characters Talbot was, the only way to escape it was by joining the priesthood. In contrast we are living in an age, where if you work hard no matter your social status, you can make something of your life, however some current issues make me wonder if as a nation we are moving forward or really moving backwards to resemble many of the problems I encountered in the play 'The Divine'. The central issue addressed in this play was the prejudice held by those of higher social status to minority groups such as the poor and inequality within society. Before attending the performance I knew nothing about the subject matter and was rather surprised in the second half when the plays context delved into more sombre topics. This subject matter relates to the internship i am doing with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, in which I am interviewing African Americans about there long history of prejudice in the South. I believe this relates to the play's topic as by interviewing minority groups I am giving them a voice to share their stories, like Talbot the plays central character longs to do.
Above is Sarah Bernhardt, a flamboyant character who is not afraid to express who she is. I can relate to her a lot , as I too am my own person and am proud of who I am.
The Emotional Experience. I believe that the play 'The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt' provides us with an opportunity for katharsis as it allows us to reflect on our lives, to look and see if there's any room for improvement, which there usually is as NO ONE is perfect. I think the Divine also allows us to look ourselves in the mirror and speak of any way we have sinned , and allow us to be forgiven. I think it is important to know that we've all made mistakes in our lives and will continue to do so, but its how we respond from those mistakes which defines who we are as human beings. The Divine allowed me personally to view the world from other peoples perspective and take on the attitude that, although I might have a bad day , it could be worse, much worse. I also think its important to realize that we must be sensitive in our approach towards others, as everyone's fighting a battle that we don't know about.