The Divine By: Erin donovan

The Constans Theater was a very pretty area with a lot of interesting modern art. The auditorium itself was larger than I thought it would be. Overall it had a comfortable feeling to the area. The seat I had was high up and all the way to the right when facing the stage. Being farther than most hindered the part of the experience when the actors were off stage walking through the rows. I did like that it was easy to see the whole stage and area without much craning of the neck and no one tall sat in front of me. When the lights dimmed I of course knew that the performance was about to begin. Seeing the dimming lights makes every quiet because they also know it is about to start. I was curious about the show when this occurred, but that was mostly because I didn't know what the play was about or if it would be as dull as some friends of mine told me it would be. As I said previously, the size was not what I expected. I have been to dance performances at Constans previously and the room was very small and very dark and I did not like the feel to it. The room we were in looked like a real auditorium, and of course smaller than the Phillips Center or performing arts centers for professionals, which gave me a more open mind about the ability of the actors and what the show it was about. I had a more positive view on the production. The spatial experience affects the good life because it is the environment surrounding a person. Chances are if a person if raised in an unhealthy environment it will be harder for them to reach the good life because they have never seen an example of one. They are not surrounded by opportunities or cases of achieving the good life. Science even has a whole war on nature vs. nurture and which affects a person more. What people surround themselves with and experience is very important in figuring out the good life.

Outside the Constans Theater before entering

I attended the showing with 4 of my friends. My friends make me comfortable and make experiences more lively so I was happy they were there. To get ready for the performance I picked them up and drove over to the Reitz Union to park. On the way we discussed how good we thought it would be and the plays length. When we arrived we were reading the playbill still figuring out what we thought about the play before it even started. My friends made the play much better. Going alone would have been much more dull and offsetting. I probably would have checked my phone and not paid as much attention. My friends and I would point out different things we saw odd or funny during the performance which made us pay attention. At intermission we talked about what we had seen so far and made sure we all understood all of it and predicted what the ending would be. During the second half we put ourselves in the story making different people different parts to see what they would do. This of course made everything funnier and possibly annoying to the people around us when we giggled, but it made my experience much better. In life a person is not alone, there are many people around them, friends and strangers. Shared experiences are important because it is what makes bonds and stories. It is what makes someone smile after a long day and have people to talk to. Close friends are created through experiencing things together and having people there to support you and be there. No one wants to be alone or feel unwanted. Shared experiences create memories that influence your path and foster relationships.

The Divine playbill

The play takes place in the early 1900s in Quebec City. The main plot of the play is that there is a poor boy, about 17, trying to become a priest joining the school. One of the other priests finds his story intriguing and decides to write a play on his life. His life was very difficult so you find out all his struggles and his terrible experiences. Also happening, an actress named Sarah Bernhardt is visiting Quebec City for a play that people are protesting against. All of them work together to illustrate the power of the church at the time and the struggle of the poor. Prior to the production I had taken history classes so I knew about the poor and the kids working in the factories and how awful the conditions were. I had also heard awful stories about little boys being sexually abused by priests. I knew these were issues, but I was not aware that the abuse has gone on for a long time, I thought it was a more recently problem that didn't occur before. The show did not change my views because I already knew the problems. I saw the poor were down trodden and exploited for work and this seemed very wrong, especially for children who should be getting an education and should not die so young. As a whole society saw things the same way and that is why things are different now with better conditions and no working children. As for the abuse this disgusts me and now it is at least easier to report and victims are not shamed or blamed for what happened, especially if the victim is a child. I'd like to hope things are getting better in that area as well. The subject matter is not directly related to my life, but it is about people being abused and the social problems at the time. There are sill social problems and people trying to change them and bring them to light. There are still people being abused and problems happening. There are marches and protests everywhere. Not all social problems are deemed resolved yet, so in that sense the play could be applicable.

Art outside the auditorium

The Divine provides us an opportunity for "katharsis" in 2 ways. The first is internally. In the play the actors were "coming clean" and showing the social injustice going on at the time. The play being written inside the play was almost an expose on the church and factories. If it were to go on to be a big production the rich people that watched the play would have been uncomfortable and clearly see what is going on behind the smoke screens businesses and archbishops were using. The second "katharsis" is for the audience to achieve. From watching the play I believe the audience is then supposed to "come clean" about what they think the problems in today's society are and what they can do about them. We are supposed to now want to change the conditions and help those worse off. We are the "rich audience" now being able to see. Our problems aren't on stage though. Ours still hide and we need to find them and show everyone and then figure out how to fix them. The play also has people think about what they want and what they would change, especially in their own lives. This thinking helps people open their mind to what they think the good life could be and how not only they themselves could achieve it, but how could they also help others achieve it. Overall, I believe the play achieved its goal and was well done. When people really think about it I think it would be clear to see that the only way to fix a problem is act on it. "Be the difference you wish to see in the world," maybe that's how you find the good life for everyone.

After the play in the Reitz Union


Created with images by Tim Green aka atoach - "Stained-Glass Window in Ledsham Church"

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