When Erica and I were waiting for the doors to open, we were feeling incredibly energetic and excited as we prepared to discover what the play was about. I went into this theater not knowing what the plot of the play was, but in a way this definitely added to the experience in a tremendous way. I went in with an inherently open mind, and I found that I had a really wonderful time. It added to the excitement, not truly knowing what the play was going to entail. The seats that we obtained were nearer to the back, but it definitely allowed us to see the entirety of the stage and the sets from afar which was nice. I will not lie, I was quite excited when the lights dimmed and the crowd hushed, letting us all know that the play was about to begin! I was quite impressed with the set when the lights dimmed. Everything was quite beautifully mesmerizing! The amount of people that were in the audience was also quite awe-inspiring. Honestly, I had not thought that so many people were going to be there for some reason. The role of place in the good life is definitely a concept of paramount importance; it adds to the mundane nature of our everyday lives. The play was full of the trials and tribulations of two men who are becoming priests and a famous actress known as Sarah Bernhardt, the Divine. Bernhardt has an incredibly controversial set of lines in a play, and the two young men, one of which is enamored by this woman and reveres her greatly, have to deliver a letter to her explicitly saying that this play cannot go on. It shows the detrimental effects that occur when trying to omit the power of art, while simultaneously showing the atrocities of forced child labor.
My friend, Erica (right), and I attended the play together, but while we were entering the lobby, another girl asked if she could sit with us since she came alone. It was really cool to be able to meet somebody new in a setting as amazing as that one! Getting ready for the performance really just consisted of me finding something to wear and then driving to the Reitz Union parking garage to go watch the play. It was truly such a great show, and I implore everyone to go see it. It is certainly worth the watch. I thought in the moment that I was extremely grateful to have friends to attend this show with. I would have been very sad having to go there by myself and without really talking to anyone. What a downer, huh?! It was so much fun being able to talk about the different dynamics of the play with my friends beside me. Shared experiences are absolutely necessary when it comes to living a good life. I could not imagine being completely alone all the time. I definitely need shared interactions to be happy; doing this with really amazing people whilst taking part in amazing activities is what makes life so good.
The central issue of the story is of the extremely controversial set of lines that the divine, Sarah Bernhardt, says in one of the plays that she is taking part in. Two young men who are in school to become priests are sent to give Bernhardt a letter telling her that the play is not to be played whatsoever. Bernhardt scoffs at this, stoic as she imagines herself playing her part - who first appears in the third scene (she was fairly angry over this). One of the young men, Talbot, is the son of a woman who is a worker in a shoemaking factory. One of her other sons, who is only 14, also works at the factory. The kids are not allowed to do such difficult labor so young; therefore, when people come to visit the factory, the kids are forced in a bunker that contains toxic gas. Prior to watching the play, I actually had not a clue as to what the show actually pertained to. I had no prior knowledge about this play, so it was a complete surprise - and shock - when I was watching it with Erica. She also did not know what the play was about, but it somehow made the show better when we were so surprised! The show definitely made it aware that to omit such beauty may bring about bigger problems. By trying to omit the play that Sarah Bernhardt was starring in, other atrocities took place - such as Leo being killed by the poisonous gas while he was trapped in the cellar. The rich upper-class folks were literally sitting atop the cellar in which Leo was trapped. There actually is no connection with what happened in the play and what is happening in my life, but I definitely could see other people having parallels in their own lives.
This play was incredibly shocking in and of itself, and it definitely satirizes the problems in today's society and world. It shows the inevitable truth that art plays an inherently powerful role in our lives; it also tells of the loss of innocence and addition of lies and deceit. Katharsis is definitely a concept that is exemplified in this play; especially as it comes to Talbot and Michaud because they are the two that want so badly to become other people. Michaud longs to be a playwright, not merely just sit in a missionary waiting to become a priest. He bursts at the seams trying to be someone he is not. The talk back was a really cool experience because I had never done or seen anything like that before. Seeing all the cast members onstage and talking to the audience was a really interesting and surreal experience. It definitely gave us all the chance to be enlightened about certain concepts or parts of the play that we were collectively unsure or confused about! All in all, I had an amazing time at this play; I was truly amazed! Bravo, UF, you amaze me yet again!