I went to see The Divine as a group of 6, with my roommate and several friends. Being able to see this play in a relatively large group allowed for some sound discussion about our expectations of the play going in. It definitely made the play more enjoyable and turned it into more of a social experience, even though we couldn't talk during the performance. The more intense parts of the play sparked great discussions afterwards, and helped to further the understanding of the play. Shared experiences are definitely a big part of the Good Life, being able to partake in things like this with friends is a very wholesome experience, as it helps you to feel like you belong.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience:
A professional photo of The Divine https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwis1cqo2frRAhXJ7YMKHToDDv4QjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjamesstrecker.com%2Fwords%2F%3Fp%3D1057&psig=AFQjCNEqHppeOLlES5aJ5gb5tZaF-A1KhQ&ust=1486438338540990
The performance addressed a variety of issues, many of which are still prevalent to this day, and all of them were very hard hitting issues. The main ones were child labor, poor factory conditions, religious censorship, and worst of all rape in the catholic church. The Divine did a fantastic job of showing off these issues firsthand, and delving into the complexity of how they affect people and their choices. For example, it didn't oversimplify the issue of Michaud's sexual assault, and had him struggle with the issue of either revealing his aggressor or being able to live a relatively normal life and put it all behind him. It was shocking to the audience when he chose not to turn in the priest that raped him, but it in turn displayed the true complexity of the issue. Similarly, child labor and brutal working conditions was a large issue during the time of the play. This is a topic we learned much about in high school, but being able to witness it in a play gave it a new setting. Leo's death was by far the most shocking part of the play, losing a character that seemed so fun and outgoing that you got attached to really puts that issue in perspective.
The Emotional Experience:
It would be an understatement to say that The Divine explores some controversial topics. Going in to the play, I had no idea that it would carry the weight that it did. The Divine's opportunity for katharsis was its forcing the audience (at the time) to look at these real, terrible events that were happening in society all around them, and to urge for a change. It approached topics crucial topics and forced the playgoers to introspect on their community.
A photo displaying poor factory conditions in Canada in the early 1900s. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjv-s6y2PrRAhVB04MKHUMACVAQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca%2Fen%2Farticle%2Fworking-class-history%2F&psig=AFQjCNGmUpuakJmfRsfIoLkG5YtwFMEqsA&ust=1486443688436216