The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By Jordan Richtmeyer UFID: 0595-9134

The Spatial Experience

Upon waiting to enter the theatre, not only is everyone teeming with excitement, but they all eagerly take pictures outside to capture the moment before they entered. Once we entered the overwhelming theatre I was filled with excitement. The mere size itself made me feel like I was in a very professional theatre and filled me with even more excitement to experience this play with everyone in attendance. Being a theatre junkie, I love going to see plays or musicals, so I had very high hopes. The stage was set very beautifully and effectively so that everyone could see the set no matter the seat, and since my roommate and I were off set to the middle right, it was nice to still be able to get the entire experience. Before the warnings began for everyone to turn off their cellphones, the stage started to snow which was no only a surprise but it was very pretty and provided even more depth than before, making the theatre and stage seem very big. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted you could feel the anticipation and curiosity fill the air, especially coming from me. I was very curious and thrilled to see what it was all about. The feeling before a show starts when the audience quiets is definitely a different experience, all the emotions mingled in silence before the first line is delivered.

Place is completely important in the good life because it can change the tone of the good life and how good it really is. Being in an unhappy or unsafe place can lead to a very unhappy or unsatisfying good life. Being in a good place that provides positive emotion and feelings can make up the best possible life. Place can change how well the good life is, how fast it can come about, it can change everything so it is dire to be in a good place.

The Social Experience

Before I had reserved my ticket, my roommate and I decided we would attend the performance together. The night of the performance, we both got dressed in equally nice dresses, did our makeup, (because why not?), and promptly left to go attend the show. It was very nice to have someone to go with and talk about it with during intermission and while leaving the Constans Theatre. It was also nice to have someone to take pictures of me outside the theatre and to sit next to so I had someone there to just experience it all with together.

Having someone to share experiences with in the good life is vital. Being alone can seem like something desired by some but deep down inside no one wants to be alone. Searching for the good life can be tough and sometimes we all need help to get there, so having people to share the experience with makes it not only easier but much more fun to go through. We are all in this together so we might as well share these good times and laughs while on our journey.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

During the performance, there was many heavy topics covered that was addressed and brought to a harsh reality. The main one being poverty but with underlying issues like molestation and child labor. From previous movies/history classes/stories I was well aware of these issues that occurred not only back then but also still occurs in todays time. I think for many people these were topics they've taken note of but didn't want to become aware of just how horrible they were/still are. I didn't change emotions about those topics quite so much during the performance except that, much on the thoughts of the characters Sarah Bernhardt and Michaud, that these things should be brought to the attention of the public. Too many people are ignorant to the issues and suffer from bystander apathy (A.K.A. if it's not happening to them, then they don't need to intervene.) I felt during the performance more empowerment over the idea that those characters named before would go and do something about the issues at hand to really influence the society. I'd like to think that after seeing that play that many people would take the same example if they saw something wrong. None of these things pertain to my daily life, however I'm sure it did apply to others lives in one way or another.

The Emotional Experience

As I said above, the topics presented in The Divine, are not only harsh but looked over most of the time by those who aren't directly involved. This play gives us a perfect opportunity for katharsis and to become less ignorant of today's problems. While the people in the time could turn their heads and pretend that the issues of child labor and molestation weren't happening, we don't have to take the same path. After watching that, it should give the impression to not be like that and to take a stand about what you believe in. It gives us the chance to actually see the problems occurring and change how we react to them and do something about it. Much like the womens' rights marches that occurred all over the U.S. we can make a change and stand for what we believe in, much like Sarah and Michaud decide to do when they write about Talbot and his molestation. They made a change and so can we if we decide to embrace katharsis. It gives us the chance to evaluate our decisions and make them right after watching was happens in the play.

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