The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Hannah VanBuren

The Spacial Experience:

The Constans Theatre has the effect of making a decently sized theatre feel like a community. Having the stage at the same level as the seats made the performance more immersive and caused the audience to pay attention to what was going on in front of them as well as next to them. I was seated towards the front, where the actors could come right up and act as if they were talking to me. In all, one's surroundings, like in this situation, can greatly contribute to their good life. If a person feels comfortable and engaged with their environment, it is easier to be satisfied with life and, thus, it is easier to achieve the good life.

The Social Experience:

There is something about going to see a play with friends that allows everyone to connect on a different level. I had the privilege of attending the play with a group of my friends, all of who got together beforehand and went out to dinner. This performance gave my friends a reason to come together and experience art in a way that we would never have done on our own. We were able to discuss how we felt about what he had seen and how it connected to our lives. This all connects to the role of shared experiences in the good life. Humans have a natural tendency to want to be in groups, to fit in. Having shared experiences allows for connections to be made between friends, acquaintances, and strangers that foster happiness and satisfaction, and thus furthers the good life.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience:

The Divine truly forces its audience to reevaluate how they view both the past and the present. The dichotomy between the wealthy and the poor working conditions continues to be an issue in countries around the world, and social drama is still popular in the arts to make people feel better about the situation. After watching the performance, it became difficult to ignore such issues plaguing our society. Countries with horrid labor laws continue to allow dangerous working conditions for those who are desperate for a job. This cannot help but relate to my own life because people are suffering greatly simply to live, even in the United States, while I find myself comfortable with my job and the life I live. To ignore the suffering of others directly contradicts one's own good life and thus, the social issues discussed in this performance will continue to influence my life as well as others.

The Emotional Experience:

Often times, uncomfortable situations are forced to the back of peoples minds because they have no desire to address the subject. Performances such as this The Divine bring these issues to light, and thus, can relieve some of the tension that is caused by said issues. This, in turn, allows for the katharsis that is discussed because tension is often caused by something that is not discussed. This performance in particular made it difficult to ignore glaring problems in our society that contradict true happiness for individuals in society. To truly achieve happiness, we must also address those around us and how they are achieving their good life, and this play is successful in making one reflect on this.

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Hannah VanBuren
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