Ouzounian, Richard. "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt holds harrowing moments but doesn't quite jell: review." Thestar.com. N.p., 25 July 2015. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.
The Spatial Experience
Walking up the stairs toward the Constans Theatre
Entering the theatre gave me a sense of somewhat nervousness. I had never been to a play before and had no idea what to expect coming in. I didn't know how close I would end up feeling toward the performers and what the actual setup to a play would be.
Once I entered the Constans Theatre, I was surprised at how close I felt to everything on stage. It wasn't the movie theatre environment I was expecting; it really felt as though I was right up next to the performers. It was an exciting feeling once the actual play began and the lights dimmed. Everyone put away the outside world and sat there just to watch the performers of The Divine, giving their full attention to the play and nothing else. The auditorium size made everyone feel closer together and I think this contributed to the entire environment of the play. Having everyone feel as though they are interacting with what they are watching adds to the whole Good Life experience as it makes you feel involved in the events of the play rather than something like a movie where its just on a flat surface and not as engaging. ("University of Florida Constans Theater Air Handling Unit T2 Replacement." Foresight. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.)
The Social Experience
Before I arrived at the play, I made sure to dress relatively nice for the occasion as I had never been to a play and assumed one was to dress in a more appropriate fashion to a play rather than the typical comfy outfit when going to something like a movie. When I first entered the theatre, I came alone and planned on meeting up with some of my friends who were already there. I chatted with strangers as I waited in the lobby for my turn to enter. It was a riveting experience to get others' take on the play and the whole atmosphere of being at a theatre which most haven't even attended. It was interesting to see how random strangers felt about the play compared to the two friends I met up with. They saw it as more of a chore and were not as enthusiastic about the whole process compared to some of the other people attending. I believe this is just another layer of what theatre does for the Good Life. Getting a plethora of view points opens your eyes to different mediums of art and if I had not socialized with others around me, I might have not had the same experience than if I just met up with friends who had a set mind about what they were watching. While the play progressed, being with friends added to the overall atmosphere as they got more into it as the play went on and hearing each persons' commentary on difference scenes gave me more perspectives to hear from.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
While in a much different time period than the one we are in now, The Divine still had messages that applied to our society and view of things even in the modern day. The themes of hypocrisy throughout the play and the self-absorption of who I saw as the main character, Sarah Bernhardt, still resonated with me today. It made me realize that our culture needs to be more conscious of itself as it displayed the irony about the injustices of the oppressed to create the goods we as consumers take advantage of. Parts of the play like the Church hiding dark secrets and the theatre lovers fighting against problems in society by writing plays for those they admire show what some will do just to create for others. It serves as a reminders that complacency and self-absorption can be the downfall of us if we are not careful about how we treat others. (Karas, James. "THE DIVINE: A PLAY FOR SARAH BERNHARDT – REVIEW OF SHAW FESTIVAL PRODUCTION." THE DIVINE: A PLAY FOR SARAH BERNHARDT – REVIEW OF SHAW FESTIVAL PRODUCTION. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.)
The Emotional Experience
I believe going to a play like The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides for katharsis by taking away from anything else in life and making you focus on the characters, themes, and overall atmosphere of sharing this experience with others. While the topics make you think about things in life, when I watched the play I almost forgot what I was doing and just lived in the moment, a hard thing to do in modern society. It gives you a break from reality and just allows you to think about ideas in life while also entertaining the mind with a funny and humorous story.