Constans Theatre inside the live performance

The Spatial Experience- As I walked through the entrance of the Constans Theatre, I felt as though I was walking into a real broadway performance. The outside was all lit up with different shades of blue and purple, as shown in the picture below. These lights created an exciting mood and set the tone for a night at the theater. As I entered the building, I was taken aback the architecture and decor of the place. While waiting on the line to enter the auditorium, I put my glasses on and observed the room around me. There were big windows accompanied by pieces of colorful art hanging from the ceiling. Throughout the room, there were also pictures on the walls. After checking in, I was escorted to a seat in the bottom section. Sitting towards the front of the theater, I was able to watch the performance right in front of me and closely examine the characters along with their outfits and the scenery. Sitting close to the front also kept me focused as I did not get distracted throughout the play. Before the show begun, I looked around the large auditorium and observed the lights coming down from the ceiling along with the rows and rows of red chairs. The auditorium was much bigger than I expected and this made me feel as though I was sitting in a broadway theater in New York City. As the lights dimmed and the audience got quiet, I felt a shudder of joy and anticipation as I had been looking forward to seeing the play. Coming from New York, I have seen many broadway shows before. Even though Gainesville is not like New York City, for the two hours of the play, I felt as though I was sitting in a NYC theater with my family.

The Social Experience- As shown in the picture below, I attended the play with two of my friends, Rachel and Emily. Since none of us had never been to Constans Theatre before, we used the UF map on our phones to find our way. Once we parked and got to the theatER, we began taking pictures of one another and while we were waiting on line to get into the theater, I ran into a bunch of my friends! I did not know that they would also be seeing the play so we decided that we would all sit together. Attending and watching the play with friends enhanced my experience by allowing me to have others to discuss the play with and hear their opinions. After the show, we were able to hear and understand each others perspectives and thoughts on the play. In addition, going to the play with my friends added to my experience since I was in a positive environment surrounded by familiar faces which made the unfamiliar theater more comfortable for me. Although the audience was large and I did not know most of the students there as many of them were strangers, I felt somewhat connected to each person there as they were all freshman students of UF, exploring the good life as I am doing. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life plays a signficiant part in our lives because going through things with other people allow us to share experiences, assist and guide one another, and discover new things. It is importnat to have people in your life that you can trust and rely on and through shared experiences, you can become very close to someone, even though you may be very different.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience-The play, which takes place in the 1900s in Quebec City, explores a young man becoming a priest and how the Catholic Church dominates all aspects of society during this time. In the play, I admired how the young man, who came from a very poor family, took an interest in priesthood. Although, we live in a very different time than the characters in the play, I was still able to relate the theme which allowed me to further understand my own culture and my culture's history. Being half Catholic, I learned about the oppression that my great grandparents and past relatives faced during this time in history. I did not realize the extent of influence and control that the Catholic Church had on the people. Also, before seeing the play, I was not familiar with the steps on becoming a priest. The exploration of these issues in the play allowed me to think about them in new and different lights and I realized that many of the issues discussed in the performance, still play a role in society today.

The Emotional Experience- Katharsis is the Greek word for the process of “coming clean.” I believe that "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" provides us an opportunity for katharsis because the play confronts issues that society faced throughout the early 1900s. For example, one of the main problems that the play brings up is the censorship of the Catholic Church which created an abuse of power within the church. Throughout this time period in Quebec City, the church played a major role in the economic, political, and social aspects of society. The church had such an influence on society that it was able to ban certain performances, like Sarah Bernhardt's show along with banning books and deciding what information goes into newspapers. In addition, the church became a representation of the government and I was surprised to learn how vastly Cathocilism spread throughout the country. Other issues that the play confronted includes the issue of capitalism and the greedy culture of businesses throughout our society along with the abuse of the poor working class. As a result of these issues confronted throughout the play, katharsis becomes an important aspect of the play as it allows us to be honest and "come clean" about the issues that were facing society during this time.

Credits:

Rachel Geradi

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