The Spatial Experience: Being in the Constans Theater in the Reitz Union was initially stressful. For whatever reason, I thought that the play was being performed in the Phillips Center, so as soon as my class got out at 7 pm, I ubered there only to find that it was completely empty. I was nervous that it had been cancelled or something and I just never heard about it, so I quickly double checked the email confirmation I had gotten when I reserved my ticket and noticed my mistake. I got back into the uber and made it to the Constans Theater just in time. My first impression of the theater was how nice it was; as soon as I got inside, I was surprised to be greeted by an usher and someone quickly and politely checked my backpack. Then, I was guided to my seat which ended up being about halfway back from the stage and on the far left side. Any previous stress was forgotten as soon as I sat down and began to look around. Soon enough, the lights dimmed and the actors rushed onto the stage from the same door that the audience entered from. It surprised me and caught my interest; I certainly was not expecting such an entrance. I was a little surprised by the size of the auditorium compared to the amount of people in attendance. Probably half of the seats were filled which distracted me a little. I kept wondering what the actors were feeling when they looked out into the audience and saw so many empty seats. The Constans Theater is a relaxing and classy venue which incites emotions of clarity and peace, both of which directly relate to my idea of a good life.
This was my view from my seat.
The Social Experience: I attended the show alone which, in hindsight, was a mistake. Looking around and seeing everyone else with their friends made me feel even more alone, even though I'm sure no one else noticed. I didn't do much to get ready to go to the performance since I have class til 7 pm on Thursdays, but in an ideal situation, I would have liked going to dinner with my friends before heading to the theater together. Shared experiences typically are bonding ones, whether you bond over the fun you had together or the disaster the night turned into. Either way, it is always more fun to do life with your friends. Quality time with close friends, regardless of the activity, is one of the most important aspects of achieving a good life in my opinion. I am including this picture of my friends and I at the SEC Championship game because these are the people I would have wanted to come with me, had I thought to invite friends.
I was given written permission to feature Becca, Lindsay, Chandler, Whitney, and Katie.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: Admittedly, immediately after seeing the play I was too frustrated to see the cultural/intellectual benefit from attending the show. I was exhausted from a long day and the play's length seemed like it was going to kill me. However, after some reflection, I understand how this play has enriched those who were in attendance. I had a little knowledge of the early 1900s, but certainly was not familiar with anything in Canada. Also, I had some prior knowledge of child labor issues and Catholicism but not much. I was most interested in the plot line involving the young boy and how he and the rest of the family sacrificed so much so that the older brother could go to seminary school. I can't imagine sacrificing my entire childhood so that my brother could achieve his dreams, even though I like to think that doing so is something I could do. Seeing the performance really made me think about family and how strong those ties are.
I have permission from my brother to feature this picture of us. He is one of my favorite people.
The Emotional Experience: The two most strikingly emotional topics from the play, in my opinion, are sexual abuse and when the main character and seminary student wanders away from priesthood and towards sexual pleasure. Rape is a very sensitive topic for me, so I was very uncomfortable during those scenes. Though the character may have experienced katharsis at the end of the play, I did not. If I wasn't particularly sensitive to such topics, the ending of the play may have been enough closure for me to feel as though I had "come clean". Unfortunately, that was not the case. On another note, I also was interested in how the seminary student was lured from seminary school towards lust. I wonder if that was as a result of his abusive experience, or just a part of his human nature. Either way, I felt a stronger sense of katharsis at the end of that plot line probably because I felt much more emotionally unattached. All in all, I thought the play covered a very wide range of emotionally draining topics so there was a variety of emotions to work through during the course of the show. I enjoyed it mostly and would see it again.
Here is a picture of me just before the play began.
I look a little bit rougher on my way out, with the play having lasted for almost three hours.