The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt by:daniella Canas

Spatial Experience

the theatre

As I walked into the Constans Theatre I was impressed with how large it was. I was even more impressed when I was seated in the fourth row as if I was some sort of VIP. Upon looking up from my seat, I actually looked at the set for the first time. It was grand and reminded me of church, which I later found out was the main setting of the play. With such a sizable theatre I felt even smaller than normal which aided in my experience while watching the play because I felt like I was just sitting in on someone's life. Place impacts the good life. The more comfortable you are in a setting the easier it is to relax and become one with your environment which leads to the enjoyment of ones life.

Social Experience

The friends

As I walked into the Constans Theatre alone, I I did not expect to find anyone I knew at that performance since it was a Tuesday night. However, five minutes later, my old friend from high school walks in and makes the night a whole lot better. Julia and I proceed to walk in to the theatre together when we strike up a conversation with a sweet girl in front of us in line to get in. The three of us then sit together, and as Julia and I are catching up, we also get to know more about our new friend. The night turned into a fun and memorable experience rather than just an assignment because of the two girls I was with. Surrounding yourself with individuals who you love and trust is imperative in the good life. These are the people that will get you through anything in life and make everyday just that much better.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The Story

The factory workers with their boss.

Set in Quebec in 1905, The Divine focuses heavily on the contrast of different cultures and upbringings. The world of abuse, poverty and oppression can be seen through the eyes of the main character, Talbot, while the privileged world of the rich can be seen through the eyes of his foil, Michaud. This opposition is emphasized through Talbot's emotionally scarring story of sexual abuse by a priest. Talbot is only able to study in the seminary because the church is repaying him for the injustice done to him by the priest while Michaud is able to pay for his studies with his family's money. However, the church hopes that by giving aid to Talbot's poor family, he will lie to the court in order to save the reputation of the church and the priest. Upon hearing this story, Michaud is appalled at the injustice and inequality happening around him. He decides to write a play about his friend's story in order to bring him justice. After meeting his idol, actor Sarah Bernhardt, he realizes that he can make an impact through theatre which is another theme of the play. Throughout the play you can see this fight for equality by the factory workers, Sarah Bernhardt, Michaud, and Leo. This concept of equality for every individual is still relevant in today's society where we still march for issues like racism and sexism. Watching the play during the week of Donald Trump's inauguration and the woman's march allowed me to view these events in a different, more impactful manner.

The Emotional Experience

The Feelings

The play, The Divine, provides us with an opportunity to fight inequality face to face. It forces the viewer to think twice about the world around them. Do we truly live in a world where everyone is equal? This question may have a thousand different answers, but by watching this play, we may take one step closer to answering the question for ourselves.

Resources for photos:

cover photo:

Ouzounia, Richard. "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt holds harrowing moments but doesn’t quite jell: review". Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. 25 July, 2015. Accessed 30 January, 2017.

photo of workers with boss:

Bouchard, Michel M. "La Divine Illusion- The Divine". 05 July 2015. Accessed 30 January 2017.

last photo:

Mars, Suzanna. Facebook. 27 January 2017. Accessed 30 January 2017.

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